what does your facebook say about you?

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This is a presentation from a session given by Lyn Parker and Sheila Webber on 10 June 2008. It was an event of the Information Literacy Network of CILASS (Centre for Inquiry Based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences). It includes slides which record points raised by participants in the session, an internal event which took place at Sheffield University.


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What does your Facebooksay about you?

Issues of privacy and security for students and staff

Lyn Parker & Sheila WebberInformation Literacy Network event June 2008

6/10/2008 The authors

Issues Data privacy Data protection Intellectual property (yours & others) Ethical use of Facebook Academic vs. social relationships Should Facebook be used as a teaching tool?

6/10/2008 The authors

Organisations you care about, or which might be held responsible for your actions

Your identity

Your (future) employers


Rights holders creators of music, videos, photos etc

Your friends and family

Your creations

Your actions & history

Organisations making judgements about you

6/10/2008 The authors

Greater Manchester Police has become one of the first forces in the country to use Facebook to combat crime 16 April 2008


CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATIONAugust 6 2007A Facebook cheating ring?

What happens on Facebook seldom stays on Facebook, so the social networking site would seem like a terrible place to organize a cheating ring. But a group of students at Cardiff University in Wales may have done just that, campus officials say.

I've been speaking with Dave Evans of the Information Commissioner's Office about the issue of how easy it is to delete your profile should you wish to leave Facebook.Vallance (2008) http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ipm/2008/01/leaving_facebook_the_icos_conc.shtml

6/10/2008 The authors

Applications in/ connecting to Facebook

Linking to profile information within FacebookGiving people freedom to configure their data how they like? or -making Friends even more vulnerable?Our data seen as a business asset

Arrington, M. (2008) He said she said in Google v. Facebook. Techcrunch. 15

May. http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/05/15/he-said-she-said-in-google-v-facebook/

6/10/2008 The authors

Phishing Email that appears to come from your

bank, credit card company, or other trusted organisations.

Counterfeit website Both contain valid reason for logging in

with username and password

6/10/2008 The authors

Issues from participantsdiscussion at event at Sheffield University on 10 June 2008

6/10/2008 The authors

Changing (use of) learning & communication tools

Speed of access as opposed to (slower) Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

Students speed of response to Facebook communications Discussion on Facebook rather than discussion groups on VLE

(move from VLE by students) Not technically suitable to support multiple groups Students no longer using University email account, regulations?!

(point also that is useful to have one contact point students know they have to check)

University need a SNS within a closed environment equivalent to Facebook that can use as teaching tool

Some staff felt strongly that Facebook should not be used for teaching (perhaps: for learning but not for teaching?)

Generation gap what is the next favourite tool? Plagiarism, collusion versus sharing of ideas; private pages within

groups: not necessarily new behaviour, but becomes more visible?

6/10/2008 The authors

Security/ Privacy

More guidance on privacy needed Security, how much information are you sharing

about yourself!!! Beware of forcing people to do it as not closed

environment; peer pressure to have to join, miss out if dont, socially and academically

Since it is not a university-controlled site no control over data, preservation of information for marking

Legislation issues over hosting country

Issues from participants discussion (continued)

6/10/2008 The authors

Academic/social use/roles

Some student opinion: that Facebook is social only, and NOT be used for academic work

Beware of forcing people to do it as not closed environment; though also peer pressure to have to join, miss out if dont, socially and academically

Should staff be friends with students? Dilemmas occur: whether / when to intervene or comment

What is the staffs responsibility for monitoring discussion?

Rate my Professor (and other sites with comments on lecturers) available previously, Facebook is not the only place

What action to take when there are offensive comments about lecturers? Disciplinary; face to face meetings.

Issues from participants discussion (continued)

6/10/2008 The authors

Opportunities/ Positive uses Ability to think through ideas and research

by discussion Communication with students including

incoming students Sharing experience including with

academics, blurring of boundaries

Issues from participants discussion (continued)

6/10/2008 The authors

Examples of using Facebook Group on Inclusive Curricula 100 students, 5 staff;

passionate about topic Management Facebook group for 3 different cohorts,

posted material but little discussion CILASS Student Ambassador Network Facebook group,

joined but no discussion in group, rather takes place on walls: can be useful for quick decisions

Department of Information Studies Optional group for 1st years to interact with Canadian students

Issues from participants discussion (final slide)

6/10/2008 The authors

Advice and guidelines

useful but not enough

Coming soon student produced page with guidance about Facebook!

6/10/2008 The authors

Ofcom Report on Social Networking April 2008 Privacy and safety are not top of mind for

most users All users, even those confident with ICT,

found settings difficult to understand and manipulate

6/10/2008 The authors

Further discussion points How to support understanding of issues such as

data privacy, identity, intellectual property How to use Facebook as a tool for developing

information literacy skills e.g. sharing and using information

Use of different levels/modes of Facebook e.g. groups without full disclosure

6/10/2008 The authors

Lyn Parker l.a.parker@sheffield.ac.uk

Sheila Webber s.webber@sheffield.ac.uk

6/10/2008 The authors


Get Safe Online Report (2007) http://www.getsafeonline.org/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=1469 Accessed 30th May 2008

Hogben, G. ed. (2007) Security issues and recommendations for online social networks. ENISA Position Paper No. 1. Available from:

http://www.enisa.europa.eu/doc/pdf/deliverables/enisa_pp_social_networks.pdfAccessed 30th May 2008

JISC (2007) Understanding the issues and benefits of social software. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/elearningpedagogy/iowpersonalsoftwarepdf.pdf

Accessed 30th May 2008

Ofcom (2008) Social networking. http://www.ofcom.org.uk/advice/media_literacy/medlitpub/medlitpubrss/socialnetworking/Accessed 30th May 2008

Russell, E. (2007) The Use of Facebook Functions and the Effect it Has on Other Methods of Communication. MSc dissertation. Sheffield: University of Sheffield

Department of Information Studies. http://dagda.shef.ac.uk/dissertations/2006-07/External/Russell_Edward_MScIM.pdf

What does your Facebook say about you?IssuesApplications in/ connecting to FacebookPhishingIssues from participants discussion at event at Sheffield University on 10 June 2008Changing (use of) learning & communication toolsSecurity/ PrivacyAcademic/social use/rolesOpportunities/ Positive usesExamples of using FacebookAdvice and guidelinesOfcom Report on Social Networking April 2008Further discussion pointsLyn Parker l.a.parker@sheffield.ac.ukSheila Webber s.webber@sheffield.ac.ukReferences