Thursday, November 29, 2012
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed; Can a Professor Require Civility? : "Robert Kreiser, senior program officer at the American Association of University Professors and adjunct history professor at George Mason University, said civility clauses resemble speech codes. The association rejects such codes as inconsistent with the principles of academic freedom. Although he acknowledged differences between Canadian and U.S. free speech laws, Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said it has long been established that student free speech can't be limited on U.S. public university campuses "in the name alone of 'conventions of decency.’ ” The precedent was set by 1973's Supreme Court case Papish v. Board of Curators of the University of Missouri, which found that students can’t be punished for offensive speech that doesn’t disrupt campus order or interfere with others’ rights."
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Motoko Rich, New York Times; Educator Aided Others at Cheating, U.S. Charges: "Federal prosecutors in Memphis are investigating an educator who they say ran a test cheating ring in three Southern states for teachers and prospective teachers who wanted to pass standardized certification exams."
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Noah Shachtman, Wired.com; YouTube Refuses to Yank Israeli Kill Video as Hamas Attacks Jerusalem: "Israel launched its “Operation Pillars of Defense” on Wednesday by blowing up Ahmed al-Jabari as he was driving his car down the street in Gaza. Hours later, aerial footage of the kill shot was posted to YouTube — and instantly went viral, racking up nearly two million views. The video not only kicked of a fierce battle of opinion on social media that’s roughly paralleling the rockets-and-airstrikes conflict. It also appeared to violate YouTube’s community guidelines, which tells users: “if your video shows someone being physically hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don’t post it.” But a YouTube employee, speaking on condition of anonymity, says the guidelines are just that — guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules. Users can flag a video as potentially objectionable, but the decision to take a clip down ultimately rests with YouTube’s global team of reviewers. The calculations get complicated, especially for warzone footage. “We look at videos on a case-by-case videos when they’re flagged,” the employee tells Danger Room. “And we look at the context, the intent with which something is posted.”"
Many Rural AT&T Customers Still Lack High-Speed Internet Despite Merger Promise; HuffingtonPost.com, 11/18/12
Gerry Smith, HuffingtonPost.com; Many Rural AT&T Customers Still Lack High-Speed Internet Despite Merger Promise: "The disconnect here in rural Mississippi highlights a major shortcoming of American telecommunications policy, consumer advocates say. Time and again, regulators have approved enormous mergers in exchange for promises that companies will extend high-speed Internet to underserved communities. Time and again, companies have pocketed the profits from those deals while regulators have failed to enforce their obligations."
Evgeny Morozov, New York Times; You Can’t Say That on the Internet: "Thanks to Silicon Valley, our public life is undergoing a transformation. Accompanying this digital metamorphosis is the emergence of new, algorithmic gatekeepers, who, unlike the gatekeepers of the previous era — journalists, publishers, editors — don’t flaunt their cultural authority. They may even be unaware of it themselves, eager to deploy algorithms for fun and profit. Many of these gatekeepers remain invisible — until something goes wrong... The limitations of algorithmic gatekeeping are on full display here. How do you teach the idea of “fair use” to an algorithm? Context matters, and there’s no rule book here; that’s why we have courts."
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Scott Shane, HuffingtonPost.com; Online Privacy Issue Is Also in Play in Petraeus Scandal: "The F.B.I. investigation that toppled the director of the C.I.A. and has now entangled the top American commander in Afghanistan underscores a danger that civil libertarians have long warned about: that in policing the Web for crime, espionage and sabotage, government investigators will unavoidably invade the private lives of Americans. On the Internet, and especially in e-mails, text messages, social network postings and online photos, the work lives and personal lives of Americans are inextricably mixed. Private, personal messages are stored for years on computer servers, available to be discovered by investigators who may be looking into completely unrelated matters."
HuffingtonPost.com; Apple Bans 'Erotic' Book Cover From iTunes: "Apple has censored books before. Earlier this year, Naomi Woolf's Vagina, a feminist analysis of female anatomy, was asterisked in their store, written as "V****a." They've also eliminated portions of Ulysses, Moby Dick and the Kama Sutra. What makes the removal of Salwa Al Neimi's book unique is that it was censored not due to its content, but its supposedly pornographic cover."