Saturday, October 22, 2011

Privacy and Press Freedom Collide in University Case; New York Times, 10/20/11

Tamar Lewin, New York Times; Privacy and Press Freedom Collide in University Case:

"Those requests set off a shootout between the state’s freedom of information law and the federal privacy law for educational records.

The university, backed by the big guns of academia, argues that the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or Ferpa, forbids disclosure of such information — and threatens the loss of federal financing if it hands over private records. Personal information about students is precisely what the federal privacy act was designed to protect, it said, raising the specter of a world in which students might be shamed by the public release of their academic credentials...

But The Tribune, backed by media groups including The New York Times, argues that the documents are not education records under the federal law, but rather records of questionable conduct, so the public’s right to know should prevail."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dealing With an Identity Hijacked on the Online Highway; New York Times, 9/26/11

Noam Cohen, New York Times; Dealing With an Identity Hijacked on the Online Highway:

"DESPITE his prominent position as a Republican candidate for president, Rick Santorum has lost control of his online identity. And for all the snickering online about it, his predicament stands as a chilling example of what it means to be at the mercy of the Google algorithm.

For those not in on the joke, Mr. Santorum’s torment is that when you look up his last name on Google, and the Bing search engine as well, you encounter a made-up definition of “Santorum” meant to ridicule him in a way that isn’t remotely fit to be described in a family newspaper."

Century After It Was Banned, Place of Honor for Twain Tale; New York Times, 9/22/11

Abby Goodnough, New York Times; Century After It Was Banned, Place of Honor for Twain Tale:

"Richard Whitehead was researching his new role as a trustee of the public library here when he stumbled on an old, forgotten controversy about the book, Mark Twain’s sly interpretation of the Adam and Eve story.

In 1906, he learned, the library’s trustees voted to ban “Eve’s Diary” because the illustrations, by Lester Ralph, showed a naked (though not graphically so) Eve exploring the wonders of Eden."

For Idaho and the Internet, Life in the Slow Lane; New York Times, 9/13/11

Katherine Q. Seelye, New York Times; For Idaho and the Internet, Life in the Slow Lane:

"“This is about our overall competitiveness,” said Jonathan Adelstein, the administrator of the federal government’s Rural Utilities Service and a major advocate of broadband. “Without broadband, especially in rural areas, kids might not reach their full potential. And we can’t expect to be competitive in a global economy.”"

[Graphic] Comparing Internet Speeds Across the Nation; New York Times, 9/13/11

[Graphic] New York Times; Comparing Internet Speeds Across the Nation

Report calls 1940s syphilis research 'unconscionable'; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/13/11

Torsten Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Report calls 1940s syphilis research 'unconscionable' :

"A report on the medical research of John C. Cutler in Guatemala in the 1940s released this morning by a presidential commission concludes that the syphilis experiments he conducted for the U.S. Public Health Service involved "unconscionable" violations of ethics."

[Op Ed] Bullying as True Drama; New York Times, 9/11

[Op Ed] Danah Boyd and Alice Marwick, New York Times; Bullying as True Drama:

"Antibullying efforts cannot be successful if they make teenagers feel victimized without providing them the support to go from a position of victimization to one of empowerment. When teenagers acknowledge that they’re being bullied, adults need to provide programs similar to those that help victims of abuse. And they must recognize that emotional recovery is a long and difficult process.

But if the goal is to intervene at the moment of victimization, the focus should be to work within teenagers’ cultural frame, encourage empathy and help young people understand when and where drama has serious consequences. Interventions must focus on positive concepts like healthy relationships and digital citizenship rather than starting with the negative framing of bullying. The key is to help young people feel independently strong, confident and capable without first requiring them to see themselves as either an oppressed person or an oppressor."

Suicide Draws Attention to Gay Bullying; New York Times, 9/21/11

Anahad O'Connor, New York Times; Suicide Draws Attention to Gay Bullying:

"Five months ago, Jamey Rodemeyer, a Buffalo junior high school student, got on his webcam and created a video urging other gay teenagers to remain hopeful in the face of bullying.

The 14-year-old spoke of coming out as bisexual and enduring taunts and slurs at school. And he described, in at times desperate tones, rejection and ridicule from other teenagers.

Jamey made the video as part of the It Gets Better project, a campaign that was started last fall to give hope to bullied gay teenagers. “All you have to do is hold your head up and you’ll go far,” he said. “Just love yourself and you’re set. … It gets better.”

But for Jamey, the struggle apparently was just too much. This week his parents announced that their son was found dead, an apparent suicide."