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Faculty Attend Facebook Presentation

Brittany Pickett
Around Campus Editor

   With over 16 million users and some 47,000 regional, work, college and high school networks, Facebook’s popularity has grown among the public in recent months. Since the Feburary 2004 launch, the site became the sixth-most trafficked site, according to comScore Networks, a global Internet information provider. 

Photo by Brittany Pickett
Facebook Presentation - Faculty watch the presentation "Facebook: Facing the Issues" in the auditorium of the Memorial Classroom Building Feb. 13.

   In a June 2006 video broadcast, Shawn McGurik from Fitchburg State College presented a conference entitled “Facebook:  Facing the Issues.” The University of Arkansas at Monticello showed the same presentation to its faculty Feb. 13.  

   During the presentation, McGurik said that Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard College student at the time, created Facebook to replicate the printed versions of facebooks for colleges.  

   According to the Web site, “Facebook is a social utility that enables people to understand the world around them.”

   Since the launching of Facebook three years ago, the site expanded beyond expectations by going mobile. Facebook offers its users the options to set their cell phones to receive messages. Another advantage for users includes unlimited posting of photos on their site. 

   McGurik mentioned different options available to users on the site such as posting on their friends’ walls, tagging them in photos and posting about events. He also mentioned the negative consequences of people putting too much personal information on the site such as their class schedule, phone number and where they live.  

   To some this may seem pretty harmless, but as McGuirk said, it can have negative effects such as someone stalking a person. During the broadcast, he mentioned other cases where students got in trouble because of pictures they posted or comments they made towards others.  

   McGuirk also talked about someone creating a group on Facebook for running onto the field after a football game; some of those who ran on the field joined the group. Due to this group, the school could find students involved in the act and punish them. 

   McGuirk also covered the privacy terms and conditions stated on the site. For example, it states that information placed on Facebook becomes their property. 

   Overall, McGuirk wanted to propose his plan of action to help inform the users of Facebook, which included:  

  • Identifying how Facebook is being used on campus
  • Educating staff, faculty and students about Facebook and other related sites
  • Telling about privacy settings and how best to use them
  • Identifying the university’s student handbook policy about such sites

   The 2005-07 UAM course catalog states, “Harassment is the act of an individual or group of individuals threatening in person, by telephone, in writing, electronically or by other means to an unlawful action against any person.”  

   Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems Angela Marsh attended the broadcast and said she thinks it’s going to be part of a way of life for the technology today.  

   Camilya Alexander, an early-childhood education major, said Facebook helps her keep up with all of her friends from around Arkansas. 

   “My boyfriend doesn’t use text messaging on his phone,” Alexander explained. “He uses Facebook.com to send text messages to my phone.”

   Toward the end of the presentation, McGuirk posed two questions about Facebook:  “Is this how you want to be portrayed?” and “Are you aware of how many people can view this site?"

 

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ŠThe Voice 2006
Revised
10/29/2007 04:38:10 PM — http://www.uamont.edu/organizations/thevoice/4_17/facebook.htm