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How Public Is Your Private Life – Part Deux

March 3, 2010

Gloria Gadsden, a professor at East Stroudsburg Univeristy, found herself suspended last week when her Facebook status updates were brought to the attention of the University.  In January one of her status updates read “Does anyone know where I can find a very discrete hitman? Yes, it’s been that kind of day…”  Later in a status update in February she states “had a good day today. DIDN’T want to kill even one student. Now Friday was a different story.”

On the face of it, they are the same kind of bitch about my life and my job status updates that a lot of us make on a regular basis.  However in the case of Professor Gadsden, it has come at a cost to her professionally.   Part of me wants to say that the PC police at her university and the student who narc’d on her should get lives and a sense of humor.  However, this just serves to reiterate the point I was trying to make in my post last week.  What you say online matters, and unless you’re cautious, you have no idea who is listening.

Professor Gadsden was under the impression that she was sharing her frustrations and sarcasm with her friends and family whom she was pretty sure would understand and sympathize.  However, because of the recent changes to Facebook’s privacy settings this was not the case, and students and faculty at the University were able to see her statements and take action against her.

So, while I personally don’t really give a rat’s ass what you say or do online, don’t be surprised if it comes back to bite you if you don’t take steps to guard your privacy.  And seriously… use your freakin’ heads.

As you were.

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