Monday, April 25, 2011

Online Chatter Bites Back

As a PR pro in the making, I know the importance of being professional online - especially with Facebook statuses and Tweets. Sharing the wrong information or simply saying inappropriate comments can really affect the way those checking up on you view you.

Stumbling on Facebook today, I came across a post of an undergraduate at St. Augustine that was denied from walking at commencement because of comments he posted on Facebook about the school.

The student claims that he wrote this on Facebook: "St. Augs is holding classes tomorrow and students in Falcrest still don't have power. Like, wtf. Really? #dumb"
St. Augustine is saying he said: "Here it go!!!!!! Students come correct, be prepared, and have supporting documents to back up your arguments because SAC will come hard!!!! That is all."

Whatever the student said, I think it's ridiculous that St. Augustine didn't let him walk simply because of a Facebook comment. I understand that SAC is concerned about holding a good reputation, but let's be honest: people are entitled to their own opinion and should be able to voice their opinions - especially to their own college or university! I don't even want to know what Ferris would do to the students who have said negative things about the school. I think SAC only has a claim for it if they can show it had a real chance of diminishing the number of applicants and/or had a statement in the Student Code of Conduct about social media usage affiliated with the school.

After posting on Koofers' Facebook status that it all goes to show you that you need to watch what you say online, I get a response (with 3 likes!) saying that I'm an idiot and that the student will sue the pants off of SAC. Now, I'm not the kind to argue with somebody on Facebook, so I wasn't about to make my claim to somebody ignorant to real life facts.

I ignored it all and just accepted the fact he was entitled to say what he felt, but I want to know what any PR pros and my followers think about this issue. Do you think the student deserved it, or that SAC went too far?

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