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Kent State's Facebook Ban for Athletes

timothy posted more than 8 years ago

248

Most commenting readers scoffed at Kent State University's new policy (noted on Slashdot yesterday) forbidding athletes from using profiles on Facebook. The arguments offered (legal, moral, and practical) mostly berated the school for limiting their students to no good end, but some thought-provoking comments exposed at least some complexities which make the issue less clear-cut than a straightforward case either of censorship or contractual freedom. Read on for a sampling of the comments which typified the conversation.

Like many readers, NMerriam was critical of the Kent State policy, but skeptical of the argument that KSU's action violated the First Amendment right to free speech, writing "Not true. U.S. courts have repeatedly ruled that, as participation in extracurricular activities is not a required part of the educational mission, it can be subject to restrictions that would otherwise be unconstitutional. That's why drug tests for Algebra II are not allowed, but drug tests for Basketball are. ...The major advantage they have at the university level is that athletic scholarships are tied to eligibility (and sometimes even performance), so getting kicked off the team also takes away the money you're using to pay for school."

Along the same lines, one reader notes that "plenty of religiously-affiliated, image-conscious schools require their athletes sign a code of conduct, like no drinking in public, etc, as a condition of receiving the scholarship. Apparently Kent State believes these sorts of ties between conduct and finance aren't enough to prevent it from being known that their athletes aren't infallible supermen who excel in athletic, academic and moral standing, and wishes to add what is essentially an NDA to their contract," and argues that "Something here is broken. Maybe it's that Universities, institutes of higher education, are resorting to sporting events as a recruiting campaign. Maybe it's the number of schools pitting athletes against each other such that success requires dedication to the exclusion of personal growth. Maybe it's students, for being so vain as to photograph themselves in compromising situations, and think that the public Internet is a suitable place to distribute these to close friends and strangers alike. Maybe it's you and me for watching the whole thing. But let's face it — there's no Rose Bowl for the most wholesome two teams in the nation. The Final Four aren't the four people left at the party who refused to hook up with drunken coeds."

Along similar lines, one reader argued "Adults can also choose to enter into contracts. Since these are students receiving athletic scholarships, my guess is that it's legal to say 'If you want this free money, you can't use facebook.' It's the same way that NFL teams can write contracts that forbid things like skydiving or riding motorcycles."

In answer to these and similar arguments that the student athletes are only facing obligations in their scholarship agreements that they might in any other contract, though, another reader bites back:

"[T]here are a lot of protected rights you can't sign away, no matter how hard you try. The majority of contract signed in this country probably have at least some unenforceable terms as a result. Second, this is a public university, is it not? That means it gets a lot of federal funding and has to follow all sorts of rules that apply to government entities, but not to private businesses. Third, retroactively changing the terms of a contract is always one of those unenforceable terms."

"... [I]f the terms of this policy are really what the article would have us believe then they are begging for a lawsuit. Banning students from participating in some type of social networking site is one thing, but banning only a specific site is something else entirely."

Only a few readers seemed to chalk up KSU's limitation on athletes to motives other than the University's own self interest, including one who described the change as a move "away from the internet as a network for data exchange, and towards the internet as a one-way pipe by which to push content your way."

TexasDex voiced a more common-sense argument for the University's desire to patrol the social-networking world, however justified or misguided that patrolling might be, writing "I can attest to the fact that lots of students post drinking photos, even joining groups like 'I was drunk when my facebook profile photo was taken.' Kent state is worried about this. While I'm guessing they're wringing their hands at such open bragging about underage drinking,that sort of thing is a fact of life, from long before facebook existed."

A touch more cynically, reader revery calls it "fairly obvious" that "the school is less concerned with preventing students from engaging in illegal activity and undesirable behavior than it is with preventing it from becoming public knowledge that students are engaging in illegal activity and undesirable behavior."

At least a handful of readers suggested that the University was better off with such a policy, and that no fundamental rights were compromised by such a rider, one of them writing "College athletes on scholarship are entertainers, and getting well paid for it. Part of their value as employees of the college is their public image. If they don't like the rules they are free to leave for greener pastures.

Another comment, from a Kent State student, was similarly blunt, calling the restriction "Good, if not good enough," and continuing "No, I don't have sympathy. Stop showing off your drinking skills and go to class. I'd be happier if they'd prevent them from drinking and tell them to stop using the team as an excuse to ditch classwork when they apparently have plenty of time for parties. Considering very few of them are going to be able to rely on sports as a career, I'd be happier if the University was less concerned with image and more concerned with the fact that the images are often of underaged students drinking alcohol."

On a pragmatic level, as several readers pointed out, colleges are using information on social networking sites to find campus rule-breakers anyhow; one reader commented "At my own college, security uses facebook to find out about parties and underage drinking on campus. Chances are, someone put stupid info up and has ruined it for everyone. Do I feel bad for them? Not at all."

Responding to the idea that a third party might create a fake identity for a Kent State player, a handful of readers elaborated on Facebook's focus on users at educational institutions. Reader Gothic_Walrus provided a useful capsule description:
Simple. There's no possible way to hide the e-mail address that you signed up for the account with. Regardless of any other privacy settings, if someone can see your profile on Facebook, they can see the address that the account is linked to.

Now, this isn't entirely foolproof from fake profiles. At my college, anyone with an account can log into the directory and create groups of e-mail addresses. If you can come up with a group e-mail address that's both believable and not already taken and add yourself as the group's only member, you're set to create that fake profile.

But on the other side of the coin, it's incredibly easy to log into the directory to see who an e-mail address is registered to. And if that's not good enough, there are printed directories that, if memory serves, list the person's e-mail in their contact information.

The point I'm trying to make, I guess, is that it's easy to make a fake profile, but it's usually just as easy to figure out who it belongs to.

The school has an even easier time of it. Since there's only one e-mail address per person and since the school has that e-mail address in their records, it simply boils down to looking at the profile and seeing if they match.

A comment from reader finkployd (who describes himself as "a Fight The Power, Go EFF, Die MPAA kinda guy") wryly suggests that Facebook isn't really the greatest subject for an argument about Internet freedom in academia. Finkployd supplies the rhetorical question raised in the original story ("Makes you wonder why they even bother providing internet connections on college campuses.") with a possibly unpopular answer:
"Oh you know, research, email, that sort of thing. This may surprise you but the original intent of providing internet access was not to pass around mp3's, pictures of yourself drunk, and porn (well, that last one is debatable).

You would think students over the years would have gotten better about using the internet but it seems it has regressed quite a bit. I am reminded of reports of students at the university where I work getting busted selling drugs on facebook and posting pictures of themselves doing illegal things. In the papers they always seem quoted as indignantly saying "I didn't know the police could monitor that stuff, that is really scary" as though cops looking at facebook was on par with warrant-less wiretapping.

... [Y]ou can look at it as preparing these student athletes for the future. If they make it to the pros and become the typical corporate whore, they will have to get used to being told how to act, what to say, and what to do. College is actually preparing them for the real world ;)"


Thanks to the readers whose comments helped inform this discussion, especially those quoted above:

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so... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15620632)

so it was already on slashdot and here are some highlights so we can rehash the other non-highlighted comments as well?

Re:so... (4, Funny)

mortonda (5175) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620696)

Wow, by rehashing the best comments, I almost see... can it be... a good article? A real editor? I don't know, this is too much of a change...

Re:so... (5, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620878)

Not too much of a change, more like making use of the resources slashdot has to offer.
Auto moderation and overviews using the threshholds might follow the thread but they lack the important part.
it does require editing to make it work.

Well done timothy.

Re:so... (0, Redundant)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621000)

I agree. I was surprised to see this type of an article on slashdot, but I'm excited by it as well. It depends on the talent of the editor, but timothy did a great job on this one.

I hope to see more of these types of articles in the future.

Re:so... (3, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621197)

I also agree. It's a good job at putting together the best parts of pro and con views to create an informative (if entirely copy-pasted) article.

Hopefully we'll see more of this for other subjects, but I think before this gets too out of hand we need a special "-1, Wrong" mod that works differently - rather than only getting to use it if you don't post in the story, you only get to use it if you also post a correction in response to the comment. If your response is itself modded or metamodded incorrect you lose extra karma (to help convince people not to do this if they're not sure what they're talking about) and are banned from making Wrong mods (to keep it from happening again). A -1, Wrong to a correction undoes the -1, Wrong on the originally corrected post. Correction posts should be checked for at least one link pointing anywhere else so that the person has to at least pretend to the software that they've got a citation.

So anyways, if we have M1 moderation and M2 metamoderation, should backslash be M0, or M3?

Re:so... (1)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621314)

I think your specific suggestion has some issues, but I definitely think that the intent is good. There should be a way to downmod factually incorrect posts. The problem is that the definition of "factual" is sometimes itself the object of dispute (e.g. evolution, global warming, etc.) How to distinguish between one and the other?

I've always thought that it would be cool to have a way to allow people to vote whether or not they agreed with an article. It would hopefully get people to vote against a point they dislike it rather than downmodding it. Plus it would be interestinig to gauge the popularity of various posts along the line. Basically just a poll attached to every post.

-stormin

Re:so... (1, Informative)

nacturation (646836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621059)

Nah... now, not only do we have articles duped by the editors, but now we also have our comments duped as well.

As an aside, it looks like they're making use of this part of the TOS:
In each such case, the submitting user grants OSTG the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, transferable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, and display such Content (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed, all subject to the terms of any applicable license.
So OSTG can make a "Dumbest Quotes on Slashdot" book and you've already given permission.
 

Re:so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15621287)

But he missed all our funny and insightful discussion about the Kent State shootings! How can we discuss Kent State without mentioning the massacre? Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!

Re:so... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620744)

Think of it as a way of helping to maintain Slashdot's signal:noise ratio. They've given us a signal, now all we need to do is supply the noise!

Re:so... (5, Funny)

Nos. (179609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620749)

rats, I was hoping to copy some of the +5 comments from the first story and post them here, but the editors have already done that.

Obligatory nice dupe! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15620648)

Nice dupe from less than 2 days ago.

um (-1, Troll)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620653)

...so would this be a comment dupe?

Moderation system... (2, Insightful)

BMonger (68213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620668)

Don't we have a moderation system in place to highlight the best comments? Why the "mega"-moderation?

Re:Moderation system... (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620755)

Why the "mega"-moderation?

For the same alleged reason that /. used to dupe stories: because the editors think that there's more to discuss and/or they want to take the discussion in a different direction.

Re:Moderation system... (2, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620787)

Hey, I'm just happy that now at least they've got a category for dupes, so that nobody has to complain about it in the comments anymore!

(But I know they're going to anyway, because they're too stupid or lazy to just turn off the category.)

Re:Moderation system... (4, Funny)

dourk (60585) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620799)

Tim was bored, and wanted to play blogger.

Re:Moderation system... (0, Offtopic)

sootman (158191) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620902)

Sad to see this modded 'Offtopic.' Hey, Tim: Slashdot has this cool system where you can set yur threshold to '+5' and see just the good comments. You should check it out, instead of creating an entire new subdomain. [slashdot.org]

Re:Moderation system... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15620957)

Tim is a dumb-assed cunt idiot. This crap is just more of the same for Timmy Boi...

Re:Moderation system... (2, Funny)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620821)

I can see it now, Unreal Slashdot 2006
"Double Moderation!!"
"Mega Moderation!!"
"M-M-M-M-MONSTER MODERATION!!"

Re:Moderation system... (1, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620879)

That's a very good question. I'm happy to see that it was quickly modded up to +5, Insightful. I hope to see it included in tomorrow's "More about 'More about Ken State's Facebook Ban for Athletes.' "

Re:Moderation system... (3, Interesting)

inphinity (681284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620995)

Because moderators don't look past the first, say, 150-200 points.

I'll admit it, I'm guilty of it too. I actually rather like this idea of condensing a day's discussion into one article. It gives those who may have new insight into the topic a chance to join the discussion.

Thumbs up!

It's broken. (-1, Offtopic)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621086)

In case you didn't notice, the mod system is all but broken due to mod point inflation and the granular range of scores itself. With the constant influx of new users who post well enough to earn mod points, each point loses value as more moderators enter the fray. Heavy-handed troll-control and editors with unlimited mod points reduce down-modding opportunities, meaning that most moderators look only for the happy posts to mod up. And so, we have vapid "oh cool!" posts [slashdot.org] ranked "insightful" and flamebait [slashdot.org] that nonetheless reaches +4. There are good moderators, but as with any democracy the naysayers get beaten down by the groupthink.

And there is groupthink. The moderation system established it and perpetuates it. Joe Blow makes one "interesting" (what ever the fuck that means) post and gets modded +5. My goodness, the majesty; a +5 score demonstrates his 5x greater intelligence. Post like him and eventually earn that precious +1 bonus. It's not hard. Fall into the mode of things; never swear (only "immature" Slashdotters do that, Steve Jobs be damned), be upbeat and never get too technical. Slashdot thrives on Newsweek-like tech breakdowns, they're just so fun to read! Car analogies are okay, but political ones are getting in style too. And if possible, add a liberal slant; Bush-bashing never gets old, no matter how irrelevant and plainly untrue (e.g. "Greenpeace activists don't like nuclear power today because Bush supports it." Greenpeace has never liked nuclear power, Bush or not.). And so we see the same types of posts espousing the same views getting modded to +5. There is seldom any K5-like convergence to ratings like "1.12"; a post shoots up to its final score immediately, lest a user have the cajones to dissent (and burn karma) and a mod actually cares to dig into the thread. Even Fark has more diverse and yes, intelligent posts than Slashdot. Its SNR is lower no doubt lower than that of Slashdot, but its signal is much more vibrant and diverse. K5 is better; a max score of 3.00 along with "unrated" starting scores reduce the perceived superiority of one thought over another, a -1 to +5 range just establishes a taller bureaucracy of opinions that every user attempts to climb. Slashdot's moderation system is just an utter failure, a system that rewards in areas it shouldn't and maintains a dialect of stupid on all levels.

Re:It's broken. (0, Offtopic)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621120)

>> a -1 to +5 range just establishes a taller bureaucracy of opinions that every user attempts to climb

And let me emphasize this; the only way to climb it is to game the system, which the current moderation system just asks for. It's like Congress.

Re:It's broken. (1)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621229)

Oh fuck, I made a political analogy. We're all in it.

Re:It's broken. (1)

tomknight (190939) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621230)

And that's exactly how I post with a karma bonus. I spent a while (a long time ago) whoring for karma and ended up with the magical 50 points. Kind of sad of me, but there you go ;-)

Re:Moderation system... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15621092)

We also have Seen On Slash [seenonslash.com] to highlight the best comments.

Re:Moderation system... (1, Offtopic)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621105)

I think slashbacks are good in general, but this topic was discussed... yesterday. A few days (at least) to ruminate might be more useful in terms of generating new useful discussion. I think there will be lots of articles relevant to this topic submitted in the next few weeks, why not refer back to the KSU/Facebook discussion then? Is this just a way to keep the topic on the main page (for people using the default view)?

Also, Offtopic (ironically): Comments discussing the nature of this type of article are not really off-topic IMO; given that the article itself is meta-commentary on comments, how are comments that are meta-commentary on the article offtopic?

Re:Moderation system... (2, Insightful)

Z0mb1eman (629653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621238)

Remember all the threads with arguments about whether Slashdot is outdated and will be replaced by Digg (latest example being the story on The Top 10 Tech People Who Don't Matter [slashdot.org] ?

Notice how the common defense of Slashdot for complaints about the quantity, quality or timeliness of news is "I come here for the comments, not for the articles"?

Well, there you have it.

That's my theory, anyway.

Re:Moderation system... (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621514)

Why the "mega"-moderation?

To show that the editors actually read the discussions.

Consistent? (5, Insightful)

RunFatBoy.net (960072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620673)

I just don't understand why the concern would start and end with Facebook. If you're going to ban such online actvities, why not go to the extreme, and ban any sort of social networking site.

Jim http://www.runfatboy.net/ [runfatboy.net] -- Exercise for the rest of us.

Re:Consistent? (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620785)

If you're going to ban such online actvities, why not go to the extreme, and ban any sort of social networking site.

Yeah, it's almost as if the ones making the decision have no understanding of the internet at all.

Re:Consistent? (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620823)

Because, as the summary quotes from Gothic_Walrus, Facebook is the only social networking site where your profile = your e-mail address

The University's problem isn't that drunk pictures of their players are showing up on the web, it's that the players are putting them there in a way that cannot be denied.

I can go on MySpace and pretend to be someone who I know well.
Not so on Facebook.

Re:Consistent? (0)

mark-t (151149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621237)

Pfah!

Anyone can set up a hotmail account easily.

Re:Consistent? (3, Informative)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621486)

They only accept e-mail addys from schools, and only schools that they've pre-approved at that. So unless your hotmail account comes with an @accepted_university.edu, you're SoL :P

Re:Consistent? (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621515)

Which of course means that the school can no longer protect the students. Anyone with an axe to grind can prosecute the kids for underage drinking, and force the school to crack down on the student body.

In the end, this just ruins it for everyone that is not abusing the alcohol, all so that some guy can say to his friends 'look at me, I'm a badass, I breakin' the law, and no one can do anything to me!"

I am not saying that 18-20 year olds drinking and carousing is a good thing. But when these pictures are so in the public, and the half of public that never graduated college feel like the kids are just playing around, often at taxpayer expense, that just leads to letters to congress urging for the crackdown of underage drinking. Perhaps it will even lead to the wide perception that college is just party time, and grants might be cut and interest rates for student loans might be raised, because why should some hard working person subsidize drunk kids, especailly when the average person was never able to have that subsidized experience.

There was a time when kids were more free, but it only takes one greedy/lazy/whiny/selffish kid to ruin it for everyone. For the most part, this is what I see some of the posters at facebook doing. Taking a creative outlet,, which should be avaiable to everyone, and can provide a same place for expression, and ruining it. The sad thing is instead of blaming th students whose behavior has forfieted the privilege, they blame the school. This might have flown in high school, but, as so many people have pointed out, adults can be held responsible for thier actions. Perhpas this is a an argument against the commoditization of th college education.

Skidmore's hook-up server (5, Interesting)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620829)

When I was attending Skidmore College up in Saratoga Springs, and I shit you not, they had a "hook-up" server where students could log in with their regular college ID and type in the IDs of everyone they'd be willing to get freaky with. Whenever two people entered each other, the server would match them up and nature would take its course. It would tell you how many girls were willing to hook up with you (I had a few...), but it wouldn't tell you who. Very frustrating. Now normally in that case I would enter every girl in the whole college, but the catch was you could only enter 20 names. Anyway, it was eventually shut down by The Man.

Re:Consistent? (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620930)

Because Facebook is specifically geared towards college students/alumni and has a closer tie to schools. Not to mention it is hard to police a athlete student for every possible website out there. They will probably, eventually, say "for all sites". But it is a place to start as facebook is growing as one of the bigger and more reputable sites out there.

Personally I do not have a great problem with this. Those sites do represent the school, and do you really want some college kid responsible for the image your school presents? Especially when he/she is placing pics of them doing drugs, drinking, having sex, etc? Also, some of the information can be really personal. I have a g/f who was division 1 all-star. She had stalkers who would use, amongst other things, Myspace to find personal info about her and contact her. She had to tone down the amount of information she placed on these sites due to this.

Also, this school is saying "do this and we will not pay your tuition"....it is their right to do so.

Re:Consistent? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15621516)

Jim, this is offtopic, but when is runfatboy.net going live? I put my email address in to be notified months ago!

Brilliant (3, Insightful)

geddes (533463) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620746)

Great write up. Yes, we already have a moderation system, but even moderating at +5 you often have to wade through repeats, jokes, etc. Thank you Timothy.

Re:Brilliant (1, Offtopic)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620838)

Great write up

?? This was more like an AP article ... copy & paste.

Re:Brilliant (2, Insightful)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621048)

Yeah, the talent is in what you choose to copy and paste. And that's why timothy did a good job on.

-stormin

Re:Brilliant (0, Offtopic)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620877)

Yes, we already have a moderation system, but even moderating at +5 you often have to wade through repeats, jokes, etc.

So let moderation go up to +10 instead of paying somebody to copy & paste comments from one article to another.

I've noticed Slashdot trying out some new ideas for their articles lately - original gaming content, linking to random weblogs, and now this inane copy & pasting. They all pretty much suck. Slashdot has never been good with original content, even back when JonKatz was doing it. The thing Slashdot does best is put a mechanism in place for discussion and then get the hell out of the way. I think if Slashdot is going to improve anywhere, it should be in the mechanisms rather than trying to be some kind of magazine.

Re:Brilliant (2, Insightful)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621078)

The thing Slashdot does best is put a mechanism in place for discussion and then get the hell out of the way

If what we do best is have good discussion, doesn't it make sense to treat the good discussion as resource?

I, for one, almost never go past the first page of comments because you just get lost in the maze. So even with the mod system, I retrospective on the discussion itself - as long as it's not over done and the comments are chosen with some talent - makes a lot of sense to me.

Besides, I'd definitely rather have Slashdot try out new ideas from time to time and have them fail rather than just never try new ideas at all. As long as they don't detract seriously from what they're doing right, I hope they continue to try new stuff out.

-stormin

Re:Brilliant (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621174)

I, for one, almost never go past the first page of comments because you just get lost in the maze. So even with the mod system, I retrospective on the discussion itself - as long as it's not over done and the comments are chosen with some talent - makes a lot of sense to me.

What do you mean, "past the first page of comments"? Do you realise that you can change the threshold to +5 and read only the most highly moderated comments? There's hardly ever more than one page when you do that.

Besides, I'd definitely rather have Slashdot try out new ideas from time to time and have them fail rather than just never try new ideas at all.

But I wasn't suggesting that they don't try out new ideas. I was saying that the ideas they have about generating original content aren't what Slashdot does best and always turn out like crap. That's not a criticism of new ideas, that's a criticism of bad ideas.

Re:Brilliant (3, Insightful)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621256)

What do you mean, "past the first page of comments"? Do you realise that you can change the threshold to +5 and read only the most highly moderated comments? There's hardly ever more than one page when you do that.


No, I realize that. But A - I prefer to read at -1 for the most part and it's a pain to change back and forth and B - I definitely wouldn't want to ready at just +5 because in general I'm more interested in seeing a developing discussion rather than discrete, disjoint points.

The difference is that timothy picked a sprinkling of points that were not only insightful, but diverse. I'd have to read through a ton of +5 points to see the diversity he got there. I don't think it's a replacement for seeing the argument unfold myself, but if I'm too busy (and I often am) than I'd rather have a good editor assemble the best points then sift through dozens of +5 points myself.

But I wasn't suggesting that they don't try out new ideas. I was saying that the ideas they have about generating original content aren't what Slashdot does best and always turn out like crap. That's not a criticism of new ideas, that's a criticism of bad ideas


If you're really not suggesting they refrain from trying out new ideas, than we have no disgreement. But despite your protests to the contrary if you say "this has never worked in the past, therefore it will never work in the future" you are discouraging new ideas. As long as they think they have a way of making "original content" (as you put it) then I say they should go for it. It costs me nothing to have one "BackSlash" post up there experimentally. If it succeeds, fine. If not; try again in a few days or weeks or months with something else.

-stormin

Re:Brilliant (0, Offtopic)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620985)

you often have to wade through repeats, jokes, etc.

The jokes are the best part, though!
I don't know about you, but I'd find it awfully hard to live with myself if I didn't get my daily dose of netcraft and overlord welcomings.

Re:Brilliant (-1, Offtopic)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621116)

If you want just the jokes (plus a few insightful comments) check out Seen On Slash [seenonslash.com] .

I'll say it again.. (1)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620747)

If you don't like their policy, just leave the school. Eventually they will see the error in their ways. This is just a growing trend and is going to get worse. Social networking sites are a rather new addition and once the hype dies down, so will stupid stories like this.

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Re:I'll say it again.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15620825)

I wonder how quickly the policy will change once they have to revoke their star quarterback's scholarship and he heads to a different school.

Re:I'll say it again.. (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621137)

Yeah, and I'm sure he'll transfer over a facebook ban.

Re:I'll say it again.. (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621549)

So I guess it's not really that important then. Enjoy collecting fat athletic scholarships and getting an easy ride through college? Don't post on Facebook, porblem sloved. This is not a freedom of speech issue. No one is denying them the right to post pix of themselves drunk and shirtless on facebook, they're denying them the 'right' to a free ride through school, which - last time I checked - wasn't actually a right at all.

new feature... (4, Funny)

revery (456516) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620751)

So what is this, some kind of new meta-discussion feature where Slashdot editors dig through some story and haul out lame comments that they think highlight the story. Whatever. Sounds stupid to me...

[Reads through some of the comments...]

A touch more cynically...revery...
Wait a second... I got featured?!?! On Slashdot!?! Hey that is so cool! Hi mom! Hi Cornelia! Check out my cynical self... I'm on Slashdot's new BackSlash feature.... Did I say it was stupid? I meant stupendous!!! and uh... lamerrific... or soemthing like that.
And Timothy, what an editor. Such insight, such wisdom. You're not gonna regret this... no sir. I'm gonna come up with some great comments for your next backslash. Something understated, but profound. Email me and let me know what the topic will be so I can do some research, ok? We'll do lunch.

--
This is a joke. I am joking. You have been joked with.

Re:new feature... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15620795)

Slashdot editors dig through some story
You spelled digg wrong.

Re:new feature... (2, Interesting)

Nerftoe (74385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621290)

So what is this, some kind of new meta-discussion feature where Slashdot editors dig through some story and haul out lame comments that they think highlight the story. Whatever. Sounds stupid to me...

I know your joking a bit.. but if you hadn't noticed, there's an unofficial digg vs. slashdot thing that has been going on for some time now. This is /.'s response to digg. /. says "we have intelligent conversation here.. look at these great comments that make your /. visit worhtwhile".

Isn't competition grand? If it weren't for digg, we'd still be looking at a nearly 10 year old /. design.

Re:new feature... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15621297)

There's another site which highlights Slashdot comments [seenonslash.com] . Looks like you've been featured there [seenonslash.com] , too. Congrats!

Infuriated (1, Insightful)

DeanFox (729620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620775)


My first reaction was anger when I read TFA. Then I considered what it meant in a way I could relate to my life.

What if my bank agreed to waive my mortgage in exchange for me keeping the grounds? Their motivation was to make money off my work in exchange. Perhaps to showcase the house to prospective clients.

After accepting their offer, what if I decided I'd work in the garden nude. Or, post signs in the yard complaining about the bank. If they came back and said that this was not part of the deal and either to stop or I'd have to start paying my mortgage again I think they'd have a point.

If this were to extend to the general population of the student body not receiving a free education in exchange then that's when I will think they've gone too far.

MHO -[d]-

Re:Infuriated (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620834)

After accepting their offer, what if I decided I'd work in the garden nude. Or, post signs in the yard complaining about the bank. If they came back and said that this was not part of the deal and either to stop or I'd have to start paying my mortgage again I think they'd have a point.
  1. We're talking about a public university, which is a government institution. It doesn't follow the same rules as a private organization.
  2. They can't add terms to the contract retroactively. If the original text didn't prohibit you from gardening nude, no subsequent text can do so either.
  3. Whether the bank can void the contract or not depends on whether you're in a "right to work" state. If you're not, then it's entirely possible the bank wouldn't be allowed to fire you since you're not breaking your end of the contract.
  4. IANAL, so the above may or may not be valid.

Re:Infuriated (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621173)

Right to work has nothing to do with contracts between two entities that aren't in an employer/employee relationship, unless you are talking about unions.

Right to work protects you from being forced to join a terrorist orginzation like the teamsters just to be able to work somewhere.

Re:Infuriated (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621301)

Right to work has nothing to do with contracts between two entities that aren't in an employer/employee relationship

Re-read my post, and the post before it, and you'll see that I was talking about an employer/employee relationship. Besides, if you think about it these sports scholarships could be considered a form of employment too (a point people elsewhere in the thread made).

Re:Infuriated (1)

nullset (39850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620867)

> If this were to extend to the general population of the student body not receiving a free education in exchange then that's when I will think
> they've gone too far.

But that implies that athletes get an education.....

Re:Infuriated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15620987)

If the university wants to protect its image, it should make sure that athletes don't post objectionable material on their facebook. However, it is completely inappropriate to ban facebook. It's a very important method of communication in college.

Re:Infuriated (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621459)

But in this generation, facebook, myspace, etc... are the new methods teens use to "hang out". Not everyone can see everyone everyday, so instead they write on eachother's walls and share pictures, etc... over the internet. This is akin to the school telling the athletes that they aren't aloud to hang out with friends because they might do something stupid that will embarass the school. It is complete and utter nonsense, and it simply shows how the administration doesn't understand what matters today.
Regards,
Steve

Can you blame them? (5, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620839)

Combine the fact that many student athletes are notorious for bad behavior like their pro-counterparts (where do you think it starts?) with the fact that many students are unabashed about posting about their bad behavior and the fact that they are affiliated with the university and you have an informal expose' on the team. Schools really do have a reason to be concerned. It's hard enough as it is to police their behavior offline to keep them out of trouble. The last thing they need is to have it all recorded for posterity online.

I'm a militant libertarian as a general rule. Much more so than your average slashdotter. Yet even I can sympathize with the school here. Until they take this over into punishing regular students, it's fine by me. If you wear the school uniform, your behavior reflects on the school the way that wearing a police uniform reflects on your department. Don't like it? Don't wear the uniform. It's not like there are a dearth of ways to pay for your way through college or jobs out there that lack these restrictions.

If it's really so important to them, they should be beyond reproach. No underage or heavy drinking. No womanizing, nothing. Be model students and athletes.

Re:Can you blame them? (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621201)

Combine the fact that many student athletes are notorious for bad behavior ... Schools really do have a reason to be concerned.
Wouldn't it be more direct (and ethical) to deal with the problem behavior, rather than coming up with ways of hiding it, and thereby protect the university image?

I think your comment really picks up on what I don't like about this whole thing. It's not illegal, but it seems somehow dishonest for a school to try to 'hide' the behavior of their "star students." If the students are engaged in unsavoury activity, this should be dealt with directly. Yes, I know all the players sign these "I will be a good person" contracts, but evidently that's not enough. Somehow I don't think hiding their actions will make them *more* likely to follow those strange contracts. Quite the contrary: by taking extensive measures to hide bad activities, the university is in effect indirectly condoning those actions. They are saying "you can keep being bad as long as you help us cover it up."

Frankly I think the universities should just "deal with it" by which I mean they should either:
1. Find a way to make the players "act better," possibly by having entrance requirements more closely related to "ethics" and "behavior."
2. Accept that the university image will be tied to the actions of these people, for better or worse.

Re:Can you blame them? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621412)

Wouldn't it be more direct (and ethical) to deal with the problem behavior, rather than coming up with ways of hiding it, and thereby protect the university image?

Lack of discretion is the problem behavior. Web content that celebrates the exhibition of underage drinking suggests that the author considers that display to be symbolic of their world view. Having a beer next to a topless woman and telling the world that you think doing so is a idealization of the school's ethos are very different things.

Find a way to make the players "act better"

Perhaps one way would be to discourage the public celebration of not acting better, and thus reducing the peer pressure to behave that way and record it as a triumph of some sort? You know, like telling them that using a profile system that ties them to the school and makes their real identities as scholarship recipients to showcase actual law breaking might be bad?

Accept that the university image will be tied to the actions of these people, for better or worse

So... if they win on the field and get good grades, these students' records will shine. Even if they get blindingly drunk with Marxist transvestite strippers in pirate costumes. But making their primary online presence all about the blindingly drunk part... that skews the image. Never mind, of course, that these idiots aren't thinking about what this will do to a potential professional athletic career or even just a good office job.

Re:Can you blame them? (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621546)

Lack of discretion is the problem behavior.

That's a good point, although I would say "Lack of discretion is part of the problem behavior."

Web content that celebrates the exhibition of underage drinking...

In a case like that (if the drinking is truly "underage" in the illegal sense) then I think the problem is not just the exhibition, but the illegal/bad action iteself.

Perhaps one way would be to discourage the public celebration of not acting better, and thus reducing the peer pressure to behave that way and record it as a triumph of some sort?

That's a good point, and I do agree. Certainly it sends an important message to say "it's not good to celebrate bad things" (or whatever). However there is a difference between suggestions/educating and mandating (in this case, the school has decided to do the latter). I certainly understand what you're saying about using such a rule to reduce peer pressure. That's an important point.

However the flip side is (as I mentioned before) that the university is sending the message "it's okay to do bad things as long as you hide it." If there is undesirable behavior going on that the university is embarrassed about, they should either stop it or deal with reality. This is just my opinion, of course (and obviously it is not shared by most universities).

Re:Can you blame them? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621275)

I'm a militant libertarian as a general rule. Much more so than your average slashdotter. Yet even I can sympathize with the school here. Until they take this over into punishing regular students, it's fine by me.
A militant libertarian shouldn't have a problem with any rules the school establishes, or any actions students choose to take (whether against the rules or not). Students are free to transfer out if they don't like the rules, and the school should be free to offer scholarships to whomever it pleases, to grant admission to whomever it pleases, and to expel whoever it pleases.

The market will sort it out, right? Schools that are too restrictive of students' behavior will see the quality of their students decline, as the good applicants will no longer wish to go there, right?

Slashdot clip-show! Neat. (0, Offtopic)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620844)

...and then we all had ice cream! Now that's what I call a sticky situation.

Re:Slashdot clip-show! Neat. (0, Offtopic)

spyinnzus (923219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620913)

Come on, feel the noise... girls, rock your boys!

sports as entertainment (4, Interesting)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620929)

Something that's overlooked is that the major collegiate sports are entertainment, not sports-for-the-sake-of-athletics. Harsh, but true. Viewed in that context, the athletes with scholarships are entertainers, and like all entertainers ALL of their actions reflect back on their employer/university.

Think I'm exaggerating? Ask the University of Colorado. How many scandals has it been involved with recently? How many were related to things that happened on the football field, and how many were related to things that happened off-campus? Guess which ones made the local, even national, news. Guess which ones resulted in ominous warnings that they would affect fundraising activities. (Which is somewhat circular since the money raised for sports rarely covers the actual costs of those sports -- the difference is treated as an advertising cost to promote the school to potential students.)

Actually the recent years have been unique since there was a legitimate athletics-related controversy -- the NCAA's ridiculous refusal to let Jeremy Bloom play football since he got compensation for his activities as a skier. The latter didn't bother the USOC, but it did bother the NCAA. Meanwhile there continue to be serious, but ignored, abuses by "boosters" nationwide....

So while I am worried that this case will set a bad precedence, much like the way "drug test HS athletes" (who do run the risk of injuring themselves on the field) got morphed into the "drug test for any extracurricular activity", I'm also aware of the unusual nature of the big sports programs. I don't know whether it's a good policy, but I think it's a defensible one.

False representation of person (1)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620955)

For those curious, it is against Facebook's Terms of Use [facebook.com] (Member Conduct section, last bullet) to allow anyone to use your account but yourself. On top of that, employees of an institution who pose as students on Facebook violate it, as well (same section, second bullet).

How well would an argument of "You accessed my profile illegally to bring charges against me!" work?

Re:False representation of person (1)

porkchop_d_clown (39923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620984)

It wouldn't because violating the terms of use isn't illegal, it's merely grounds for having your account cancelled.

Re:False representation of person (4, Funny)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 8 years ago | (#15620994)

I put this in my profile a couple of days ago:

-=[ README ]=-
If you're reading this profile while considering me for a job, internship, or other opportunity-to-succeed, please note that you are, or the person whose account you are using is, probably in violation of Facebook's terms of use and my personal privacy. This is a private profile and you have been granted permission to view it only if you are following Facebook's terms of use and thus respecting my privacy. Thank you. Please read the terms of use at http://www.facebook.com/terms.php [facebook.com] if you haven't already, and read the Member Conduct section closely.

Re:False representation of person (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15621164)

Yeah but if I'm an employer and I'm checking up on you that isn't going to stop me from not hiring you. Thats about as effective as the "If you are 21 or older click here" that they put on porn sites to keep underage kinds out.

Re:False representation of person (1)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621336)

Can you argue that you weren't hired because of your private profile that was obtained through violation of the terms and through an invasion of privacy? In other words, in our overly litigious society, you could pursue the person who allowed access to your profile in violation of those terms. Not saying its right, but I can see it.

^x^s^x^c

Re:False representation of person (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621386)

I would have to say... no. But they'd be welcome to try it in court. Think of it this way... a person gets murdered, the police has suspects, do their usual checks, come across a Facebook entry from one of them detailing things about the crime that only the perp would know as the information wasn't made public. Would that person get to claim "Oi! The police weren't acting in accordange with the terms of service of Facebook - and as such, the evidence collected was done by (the analogy of) an illegal search!"? I would like to think not.

Now maybe if the information wasn't public on Facebook, and instead stored privately on the server with access only to the author (and some other people - why else place it on there at all), and the police raided the ISP without a court oder and took the data... aye. Otherwise.. nay.

Re:False representation of person (1)

tomknight (190939) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621356)

That's really going to impress a potential employer. Sorry, but if a person's behaviour were any of my business (as a potential employer) I would consider using Facebook etc to check you out. If you really don't want people to see what you post on the web - well, don't post it there!

Re:False representation of person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15621451)

I recommend adding a "if you read this post you owe me one gzillion dollarssss!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Re:False representation of person (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15621465)

You are forgetting that alumni from your school can view your profile. And those recruiters/HRs/Managers went to school somewhere. Possibly your school. I just recently graduated from a large university and atleast half of the people I spoke with at career fairs went to my school. No violation of the Terms of Service there. Your better off just changing your privacy settings.

Re:False representation of person (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621102)

There's this thing called hacking you know.....

wtf? Must be a slow day. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15620993)

What is this? How is this "news" any different than just reading the original with comments at +5?

This Editor Piece introduces bias. (3, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621148)

I'm sorry but am I the only one who sees a lot of conservative bias in this piece?

There were plenty of good points made that this violated people's rights.. and yet this writeup seems to focus very strongly on the straw man that private activites can be curtailed on the idea that the students are being graciously allowed athletic scholarships.

The state also gives out medicare and a number of other social benefits to people.. maybe washington should be allowed to selectively deny us those benefits in the same way?

Re:This Editor Piece introduces bias. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15621295)

If you allow a college to selectively ban the use of this site you're opening the door for further abuse. What's next? We don't want our athletes to be associated with political groups, so you're not allowed to use this site that protests the war. Or we don't want you to use this particular external email. So we're banning our athletes from using gmail. How about if they ban the ability of their athletes to write blogs because someone was reporting about the abuses team members face at the hands of the coach? If you allow just a small part of your rights to be trampled on ... it's much easier to come back and trample a larger piece in the future.

I see this as the start of yet another disturbing trend. There are a lot of these trends out there that try to limit what it is you can and cannot say. It starts small with the socially unacceptable or questionable and then moves into other areas because after you've been allowed to censor free speach a little bit, a little bit more isn't very big news.

When a group seeks to undermine your rights, it's not a big push all at once. They chip away at the edges that no one cares about, that way by the time you take notice something's wrong they've chipped their way deep into the foundation of the rights you had.

It's a dangerous thing to say 'well this violation of rights is okay because I don't like how this group was using their rights'.

Bias? Balance, perhaps. (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621529)

I'm sorry but am I the only one who sees a lot of conservative bias in this piece?

First, aren't you even a little embarassed to pretend that the general editorial and commentary orientation on slashdot isn't demonstrably left-leaning on many subjects? I don't care that it is, it just is, and that's part of the atmosphere. But don't pretend that it's normally straight-down-the-middle objective or equally deferential to every point of view.

There were plenty of good points made that this violated people's rights.. and yet this writeup seems to focus very strongly on the straw man that private activites can be curtailed on the idea that the students are being graciously allowed athletic scholarships.

I don't always subscribe to Timothy-think, but he's actually providing a valuable service, here. He's pointing out that, contrary to the foregone conclusions that people like you have made, that some very thoughtful people are seeing the larger picture here, and bothering to make those thougts clear to this audience. In essence, it's worth the posting space because it's unusual for slashdot. Oh, and just because identifying "straw man" arguments is a favorite junior varsity sport here doesn't mean that simply calling something one makes that true. These students are graciously receiving scholarships, and countless court rulings have affirmed that participating in extra-curricular activities (to say nothing of being given money) can sure as hell be dependent on a code of conduct that extends outside of the classroom.

The state also gives out medicare and a number of other social benefits to people.. maybe washington should be allowed to selectively deny us those benefits in the same way?

You mean like means testing? Already done. Do you mean like, certain types of criminals and fraud artists don't get to have the benefits? Already done. Other than that, your merit as an athlete isn't what gets you government entitlements - but it is what gets you a selective, qualified, and behavior-dependent athletic scholarship. Scholarship students with bad grades lose the scholarship. Medicare patients with crappy eating habits and drinking problems still get medical care.

Re:Bias? Balance, perhaps. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621582)

First, aren't you even a little embarassed to pretend that the general editorial and commentary orientation on slashdot isn't demonstrably left-leaning on many subjects? I don't care that it is, it just is, and that's part of the atmosphere. But don't pretend that it's normally straight-down-the-middle objective or equally deferential to every point of view.

i'm sorry but this assertion just is not true. The media is generally very right leaning and those with conservative points of view hold a greater power and voice than those with a liberal point of view.. they get more exposure. The truth is that 70% of the US and an even greater percent of the world is "left leaning".. this means that the center is further "left" than you care to admit.

He's pointing out that, contrary to the foregone conclusions that people like you have made, that some very thoughtful people are seeing the larger picture here

"larger picture" is a piece of jargon which in lobbyist speak means "my point of view rather than common sense"

You mean like means testing? Already done. Do you mean like, certain types of criminals and fraud artists don't get to have the benefits? Already done.

no.. i mean unreasonable and unrelated activities such as party affiliation, brand name preferences, controlling the forums youre allowed to browse, denying you benefits if you read slashdot for instance..

That would be a better analogy for the current situation than means testing and excluding convicted con artists.

I'm a Kent State Student and I was surprised... (2, Informative)

jrister (922621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621179)

I'm a student at Kent State in (obviously) the Technology Division. While I've not been prohibited from using social networking sites, we (students) have received multiple warnings about the dangers of using such sites from the college security and network admin folks. Far as I know, (dont quote me on this) they have totally banned access to it from the campus networks (so we cant get on there from the lab, etc), and I thought the reasoning was bandwidth issues. Once again, I'd have to check on this to be absolutely certain. In any case, I'm fairly disturbed regarding this issue, as I am strongly against things that can violate or dampen the rights of US Citizens. If you all are interested, I might be able to try and get some more info about whats going on.

Re:I'm a Kent State Student and I was surprised... (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621211)

Far as I know, (dont quote me on this) they have totally banned access to it from the campus networks (so we cant get on there from the lab, etc), and I thought the reasoning was bandwidth issues

Campus officials are known for forcing partisan issues regarding the internet by blanket banning things like p2p, gaming servers, specific web sites, etc just like china's great firewall.

Knowing damn well there would be student and community revolt if they knew the real reasons.. they make up blatant lies like "security concerns" or "bandwidth issues".

it's all a smoke screen, theyre trying to force their point of views on you the student body and are taking advantage of most people's lack of knowledge regarding computers and networking to lie to them.

Re:I'm a Kent State Student and I was surprised... (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621368)

Yeah, I'm sure students are going to riot over not being able to use Facebook.

Re:I'm a Kent State Student and I was surprised... (1)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621382)

This has gone on forever. I don't remember the reasons, but there were always protests on campus and petitions about this or that floating around. I think its sort of a dynamic stasis thing where admin continually tries to control students in a way the students dislike and the students constantly push the boundaries. In my brief college experience it resulted in not a lot happening and the status quo maintaining its... status?

You could view this as another bit of education. Putting students in an environment where they can experience some of the structure and control of real life, and some of the means of effecting change, without it really affecting anything real or important.

Re:I'm a Kent State Student and I was surprised... (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621381)

If they're citing "bandwidth issues" as the reason for blocking Facebook/Myspace/etc... then they're just outright lying to you. Neither of those sites are going to generate the kind of bandwidth that requires administrator intervention.

No Slip-n-Slide = no slippery slope (1)

GapingHeadwound (985265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621195)

Nice recap. I like recaps. I'm slow like that. It's why I like reading the Sunday paper. Besides, I missed out on the comments the first time. I'm slow like that. Do I care? No. I'm just seeking recognition in any way possible.

Anyway... the aspect of this story that interested me most was the ACLU guy's whining about the First Amendment. The problem is that using Facebook isn't a right either in the human or the consitutional sense. Consider the lack of critical thought in designating Facebook-use as an activity protected by the First Amendment. Unfortunately, the ACLU is too quick to embrace this kind of "Slip-n-Slide logic" when their efforts could be better placed elsewhere after only the slightest bit of thought.

Could anything ever come of this?

The absolute worst that could happen is that some athlete(s) refuse(s) to stop using Facebook and get(s) cut. Some litigation over retroactive contractual changes ensues that results in a "grandfathering" permission for existing athletes to use Facebook while new contractees are forbidden. No big deal. No slippery slope.

If it's not a blatent violation of constitutional rights (or basic human rights), it really just isn't as much fun, anyway, is it?

Re:No Slip-n-Slide = no slippery slope (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621528)

I refer you to this post [slashdot.org] outlining exactly how it is a slippery slope.

By the way.. if youre so unconcerned about liberty why don't you move to a place more suited to your concerns, like china or north korea.

Re:No Slip-n-Slide = no slippery slope (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621554)

Consider the lack of critical thought in designating Facebook-use as an activity protected by the First Amendment.

I would be fascinated to know the thought process by which you determine that using Facebook is not speech, and therefore protected. Snarks like "consider the lack of critical thought" don't do much to explain this.

Kent state (1)

hauntingthunder (985246) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621225)

some one commented >"Adults can also choose to enter into contracts. Since these are students receiving athletic scholarships, >my guess is that it's legal to say 'If you want this free money, you can't use facebook.' It's the same >way that NFL teams can write contracts that forbid things like skydiving or riding motorcycles."

Up to a point lord copper - you can sign any contract you like but there are overriding laws I can sign a contract that says I accept only 2 weeks holiday or sell my self into slavery. But it aint a valid contract in the UK the same principal applies in the stats.

Theres also the issue that more black kids get sports scholarships - so one could argue that its direct or indirect discriminaton.

Oh and this is from a senior HR/IR figure in a very big company that I got this info from

Should be... (2, Funny)

rwgeorge (845267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621236)

Anyone who is still taking algebra in college _should_ be drug tested ;)

Luddites (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621241)

Often adults who dont understand a new technology seek to ban it outright rather than correct it. Guideline, moderation from both the public and facebook itself can go a long way to correcting a few flaws, yet preserve this new avenue of youthful communication and identity expression.

Drinking Age (2, Interesting)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621268)

All of this would be so much easier if the drinking age was lowered to something a little more sensible, like 18. It seems odd to me that adults should not be allowed to drink at an age when they can drive, smoke, get married, have sex, have children, buy a gun, start a career as a porn star etc.

dilemma for social network users (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621273)

You want to have a profile that makes you appear fun and interesting, yet not cross the line to appear be a total goof off or reveal too much personal detail to crooks. I believe its possible to meet both these goals, but inexperienced kids might need some coaching to find the proper boundary.

Dupe (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15621508)

Whoa, Slashdot editors can monitor the discussions? We're all busted!
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