Oxford University Digs Dirt on Students

It seems that few people in our world have what is known as true privacy. The Internet has made it possible for anyone knowledgeable enough in technology to dig up dirt on members of society. Many young college and high schools students communicate through social websites. They create a line of friends and share conversations as well as photos on the web.

Oxford University in the U.K. has begun using the social sites to their advantage. Staff members of the college search social networks and sites for information on the college’s students. They have been finding photos and other information about students. They are then using the information and evidence to take disciplinary action against the involved members of the college.

This “dirt digging” by Oxford faculty members has outraged students and the Student Union. They are warning college students to limit access to their photos and restrict outside viewers. However, these restricts do not often guarantee that others cannot get access to the sites.

Some students have received disciplinary actions after staff members found photographs of the students having a party after tests. The photos show the students dousing one another with alcohol. Oxford students are also known for covering one another with flour and champagne. The college frowns on this behavior and fines participating students for misconduct.

Many employers also search the net for dirt on employees. It appears that Facebook must be a popular place to look. I am unfamiliar with Facebook.

Until reading about the “dirt searchers” at Oxford University, I had never really thought about people sitting around and looking up things about me. It is a very creepy idea. I can understand why students would be upset about being punished for pictures that staff members searched for on the web. I wonder if the college has a time limit for pictures and punishment. How long ago can the pictures be made and the students still receive fines?

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