Can electronic spying stop school bullies—and—are gangs using Facebook to recruit new members? Show Notes

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Can electronic spying catch public school bullies?  In an effort to cut down on bullying, one school district has begun monitoring social media posts made by its 14,000 middle and high school students.

According to a story on PluggedIn.com, The Glendale Unified School District in California is paying a social networking monitoring service, to comb through students' posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media networks.  

What are they looking for?  Posts that indicate bullying, express suicidal thoughts or confess crimes.  They’ll also be checking for profanity. It will notify the district if it runs across anything alarming or suspicious.

Speaking of alarming and suspicious, USA Today reports that many gangs are recruiting new members via the Internet—and even using popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

About 20% of gang members say their organizations either run their own websites or have a presence on a social networking outlet; half say they've posted videos of their gangs in action.  Some say they use Facebook and Twitter to pick fights.

Of course, this social networking activity can make it easier to crack down on a gang's illegal activity too. Last year, police in New York City arrested 43 gang members in relation to crimes they talked about on Twitter.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.
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