Many researches were conducted in various universities, high schools, and colleges, results indicated that most students are either uninformed or underinformed on their institution’s social media policies. This issue is at large in both the public fraternity and system, whereby individuals misuse the social media in the essence of free speech. In addition, many students oppose the idea of institution, monitoring the social media accounts for students. A lot of students oppose monitoring athletes’ social site. Social media, though it is an efficient way of communicating and expressing the ideas and emotions, may be hazardous, if utilized to make biased, abusive, and any posts that might go against the regulations of an institution or break the law.
April Gehl of Hilbert High School and a critical player for the school’s Wolves’ girls’ basketball team received a five-game for posting an offensive tweet on her Twitter account. The tweet that read, “EAT S--- (profanity) WIAA,” was directed at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association. Such behavior was against the institution’s board policies and regulations regarding “unsporting behavior.” In her justifications, Gehl argued that it was her right to express herself in a manner that she felt was right. She later commented by saying, “I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘Really? For tweeting my opinion?’ I thought it was ridiculous”.
There are a few cases of the recent news headlines, in which university students have been disciplined for the misuse of freedom of speech on social media. The instances reported involving students comprises of minor penalties; for example, sensitivity training or dismissal from institutions. The posts may be problematic, as they move into labor market, since recruiters look at posts on social media in selecting and recruiting the new employees. When such measures are being put in order, then students may understand and know the policies regarding social media. It is also important for educational institutions to look at what students know on consideration of social policies and educate them on better ways to use on social media.
In conclusion, in institutions, student athletes’ social media plays an important role. This is due to the fact that they represent both school and country as a whole, both in public and globally. Institutions should devise strategies to help in informing student-athletes on the right way to air out their grievances or issues other than going to social media. In fact, it could even involve certain restrictions, and they are advised to use proper way.
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