Missouri's "Facebook Law" Gets It All Wrong

Missouri's "Facebook Law" Gets It All Wrong

We have an excellent blog post today from Justin Kwong, it's also located over on his blog:

As a wise man once said, knee jerk laws written after one person got away with something they shouldn’t have rarely achieve the intended results and often crate even more problems as a result.  Missouri’s new social media law is just such a mistake.

Rather than rehash all of the details, take a look at this piece today from Huffington Post.  It’s really rather infuriating that the law so clearly ignores all of the benefits from social media and other communication between teachers and students.  And, stop me if I’m wrong, but isn’t communicating on a Facebook wall publicly available?  I guess if they are sending private messages, but then just make sure the administrators have the account password.  Is a law really necessary?  Can’t schools regulate this themselves?

About Justin Kwong
An attorney in the Twin Cities and adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law where I teach a seminar on the law of virtual worlds.
View all posts by Justin Kwong →

Note by Landon Ascheman: Justin writes one of my favorite blogs.  It may not be criminal law, but the Virtual Law holds nearly as much fascination, and far more unexplored wonder.  Many times these laws get passed through in regards to individual situations.  We expect prosecutors to exercise discretion.  They don't - and when they don't - someone life is ruined.  I would add the following sentences that cause me the most concern.

"No teacher shall establish, maintain, or use a work-related internet site unless such site is available to school administrators and the child's legal custodian, physical custodian, or legal guardian."

"No teacher shall establish, maintain, or use a nonwork-related internet site which allows exclusive access with a current or former student."

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