Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out



									The Real World Consequences of
    Facebook and MySpace

             Alison Kiss
         Program Director
      Security On Campus, Inc,
Virginia Commonwealth University
      student Taylor Behl was
  murdered her freshman year by
         someone she met at

Mesloh, Dr. Charles, Campus Safety Magazine, Virtual Fun with
Consequences, January 2006
                       History of MySpace

  • Social Networking website offering interactive
    network of photos, blogs, user profiles, groups and e-
  • Founded in 2003 by Tom Anderson (alumnus UC
    Berkley and UCLA)
  • January 2006- reported to be the world’s 7th most
    popular English language *.
  • Culture: unique, alternative scene, young adults (18-
*Alexa Internet, Alexa Web search, January 20, 2006
               Elements of MySpace
• Part diary

• Part photo album

• Gossip

• Music

• Pet peeves
               ___________ Details
Status:        Single, etc.
Here for:      Meeting people
Orientation:   Straight
Hometown:      Rhode Island
Body type:     small frame
Ethnicity:     Hispanic
Zodiac:        Taurus
Children:      0
Education:     none
Occupation:    student
            ____________ Interests

•   General:
•   Music:
•   Movies:
•   Television:
•   Books:
•   Heroes:
•   Groups:
      A student at the University of
           Kansas learned the
      consequences of revealing too
      much information on Facebook
      when she was stalked by a man
        who encountered her class

Dutton, Chelsea.Kansan Newspaper, Users abuse Facebook,
February 10, 2005
                   History of Facebook

• Formerly known as “The Facebook” is a social
  networking service specific to college and high school
• As of December 2005-Largest number of registered
  users among college sites (6 million). *
• Founded in 2004- Four former Harvard students-
  based on facebook distributed to incoming freshmen.
• Culture- have to have an .edu account, personal
  profile, exchange public, private messages, join
  groups of friends.
*Wikipedia, History of Facebook, 2005
Facebook Profile Page

              Q ic kTime ™ a nd a
          TIFF (L ZW) d ec ompres so r
       are n eed ed to se e th is pi cture.
Security of Facebook and MySpace
       • 13 yrs. or older
       • Member conduct policy
       • Must have an .edu address to join
       • Have to “friend” someone to allow
         them to see profile (but not at same
       • Safety tips
       • Claims no liability for inaccurate
       • Can not be under 14
      Dangers of On-line Networking
1.)   Student Blogs- sometimes fabricated

2.)   Stalking is made easy when students reveal too
      much information on-line

3.)   Identity theft

4.)   Posting any incriminating evidence about yourself
             Student Blogs
• What the images and information students
  post about themselves may tell us.

• Administrators access to blogs and reaction
  to what he/she may see (suicide threats,
  information about sexual assault, drugs,
  alcohol abuse).

• Meeting someone through the internet posts
  a danger of not knowing if the information
  posted about him/her is true or false.

•Giving too much information could make
students vulnerable to stalking. If you post
class schedules, telephone numbers,

•On Facebook, you have the option to not
‘friend’ someone but anyone at your
university could still view your complete
           The Prevalence of Stalking on
   • 13% of female college students have been the
     victims of stalking.

   • Stalking is more prevalent among younger women.

   • College campuses provide the ideal environment for

   • College campuses are relatively closed-in
         communities, where daily “Sexual Victimization regular
*Statistics taken from Fisher, Cullen & Turner, 2000:routines and of College Women”
         behaviors are easily monitored.
  • 42.5% of stalkers are boyfriends or ex-boyfriends.

  • 24.5% are classmates

  • 10.3% are acquaintances.

  • 3 in 10 women reported emotional or psychological

  • In 15.3% of incidents, victims reported the stalker
    threatened or attempted to harm them.

  • In 10.3% of incidents, victims reported that the stalker
    “forced or attempted sexual contact.”
*Fisher, Cullen & Turner, 2000: “Sexual Victimization of College Women”
• Wealth of personal information make these sites a target for
• Schedules make t easiest for a stalker to identify a student’s
• College campuses are a microcosm for stalking.
• Stalking rates on college campuses are higher.
• Stems from relationships and also younger people tend to be
  targets of crime more often.
• Numbers are always inaccurate because only 60% of women
  and 30% of men who are stalked actually report (FBI
  Victimization Survey)
• Victims will not report because they feel (98%) that officials will
  not believe them (National Violence Against Women Prevention
  Center, 2004).

• Victims believe that they are being abused seriously enough.

• Stalking is a “repetitive pattern of unwanted, harassing or
  threatening behavior committed by one person against another.”
  (NVAWPC, 2004)
   • Acts include telephone harassment, being followed, receiving
      unwanted gifts or other similar forms of intrusive behavior.
• The most valuable tool in deterring a stalker is a journal.

• Document every incident.

• Photograph gifts and then send them back.

• Have on and off campus resources available for students.

• Be a catalyst for empowerment, not a rescuer

• Avoid being judgmental
• Too sympathetic- not helpful with reality of

• Too much information too fast, especially

• Expecting yourself to solve every problem.

• Being unresponsive or cold. Calm is good
  but cold is not.
                               Identity Theft

                                                 • Students have their own
                                                   websites connected to
                                                   their profiles.
                                                 • E-mail scams
                                                 • Purchases using stolen
                                                   credit cards on
                                                   university computers.
                                                 • Cyber-crimes are highly

*The Greenville Daily News, 09/04/05, Associated Press “Identity Thieves Prey On College Students”
Posting Incriminating Evidence about
• Students are pictured drinking beer while underage.
• Drug use
• Sexual activity
• These pictures are available for future employers and
  school administrators.
• Cross-referencing Facebook profiles with character-
  based scholarships.
• While social networking sites offer advanced security
  protocols, they are rarely utilized.
              Raising Awareness
Banning the use of these sites altogether is impossible
  but programming related to awareness of the
  dangers of these sites is imperative.
• Primary Prevention- school-wide programs for
  freshman orientation, residence halls, computer
• Secondary Prevention- targeted group (students who
  have misused the internet)
• Tertiary Prevention- focusing on individual students
  on an as-needed basis.
        Prevention Strategies
• Policies encouraging safe use of
  websites such as Facebook and

• Prevention Programming specific to
  computer safety and stalking.

• Resources for local area.
                Internet Safety
•Select a gender-neutral
•Keep primary e-mail private
•Do not give out information
simply because it is
•Block or ignore unwanted
•Do not allow others to draw
you into conflict.
•Watch what you “say” on-
•Do not provide credit card
or banking information as
                  Case Studies
• Secret Service at University of Oklahoma-
    Presidential threat
• Student expelled at Fisher College for comments
    about a campus police officer.
• Kansas State University- violation of school’s honor
    code. *
• University of Kansas student stalked after posting her
    schedule on-line.*
• Murder of a VCU student by someone who she met
    on MySpace.
• University of Mississippi- three students violating
*, January 2005
*Kansan Newspaper, 12/27/2005
    judicial code by creating a group related to desire to
*”When students open up too much,” Boston Globe, 9/26/2005
    have sex with a university professor*
   University #1 Policy

“Since we are aware of the growing use
of among HC’s students
here and elsewhere, we feel it is
important to share some cautions and
concerns with its use.”
*Policies and Procedures Student Manual for Hastings College with permission
“First, you should be careful about how much
and what kind of identifying information you
post on Facebook.”

“Second, you should be aware that potential,
current and future employers can often
access information you place on Facebook.”
“Third, you should know that while
  Facebook and similar directories are
  hosted outside the HC server, violations
  of college policy on Facebook (e.g.
  harassing language, possible college
  alcohol or drug policy violations, etc.)
  are subject to investigations and
  sanction via the HC computer use
  policy, student code of conduct, and
  other relevant college policies”
                                       University #2 Policy

“Many members of our community are using
  thefacebook or other social sites like it are providing
  personal information which can the be accessed by
  any user of that site.”

“Facebook and other social sites are not approved or
  affiliated in any way with DP College, and DP College
  recommends that students not participate in these

*DePauw University Campus Safety website, accessed 02/03/2006 approved by Chief of Public
“Facebook also gives you a link that you can provide to
  anyone that links them directly to your profile. Be
  extremely cautious as to whom you allow access to
  your profile.”

“If you choose to participate, we recommend that you
    use your university box as your address and avoid
    putting your physical address on your profile.”

To top