Social-Media Skirmishes

March 10, 2015 / Phil Lesch

The Chronicle of Higher Education
March 10th, 2015

A professor of American Indian studies takes to Twitter to denounce Zionism. A senior lecturer in business communication posts racist, homophobic comments on Facebook about an investigation into the shooting death of a 12-year-old. A journalism professor tweets, after a mass shooting, that the National Rifle Association has blood on its hands.

Social-media eruptions like those have produced the kind of headlines that make colleges cringe. They’ve had seriously negative consequences for the scholars involved and, in some cases, for institutions. They’ve also raised an urgent question for administrators: As more and more faculty and staff members lead active lives online, publicly sharing their work along with personal opinions, what can colleges do to protect themselves from fallout while preserving the core values of academic freedom and free speech?

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