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ERIC Number: EJ786469
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan-25
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
New Web-Monitoring Service Worries Some Legal Experts
Sander, Libby
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n20 pA21 Jan 2008
A software program that searches for offensive content on college athletes' social-networking sites has drawn skeptical reactions from legal experts, who say it could threaten students' constitutional rights. Billed as a "social-network monitoring service" and marketed exclusively to college athletics departments, YouDiligence was on display at the trade show held during the National Collegiate Athletic Association's 1008 annual convention. The program conducts real-time searches of athletes' profiles on Facebook and MySpace for up to 500 words and phrases, including profanity and slang used to describe drugs. It does not delve into areas of the sites that are protected by passwords. If the program finds anything, it sends an e-mail alert to a designated athletics official, with a link to the offending page. Some large collegiate programs already have coaches who occasionally view athletes' pages on social networking sites, hoping to catch potentially embarrassing or incriminating material before it brings the university negative attention. Three experts in constitutional law told "The Chronicle of Higher Education" that the new software was probably lawful: once a student posts words or photos that the general public can see, the material is fair game. But all three agreed the software raises tricky legal and ethical questions, and that athletics departments should think carefully about using it.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A