Do colleges have a legal right to ban their students or athletes from using social networking sites? The University of Minnesota Duluth recently has tried enacting a policy of preventing their athletes from using Facebook.com and similar sites.
For some reason, I feel that there most certainly exists legal precedent that wouldn't allow for such policies, even for athletes. Does this not start to infringe on free speech rights? A college would never be allowed to ban students or athletes from speaking publicly in other fashions, or to the press.
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Can colleges ban students or athletes from using Facebook or other sites?
They do if you are using their network.
Reply:If they were a private school, they would certainly have this right. However, since it is a public school, it is more questionable. But if the college can demonstrate that what the athlete posted hurt the team or the school in some way, then I think it might stand.
Reply:on the schools computers they most certainly can ban use of those sites, they cannot control what you do on your own personal pc.
Reply:I agree, I think that if anyone decided to fight it, the school would lose.
Reply:I don't think they can stop you from going to a website unless you are using their network. What you do on your time is your business as long as you're not breaking the law. I think the school just doesn't want to look bad with all the underage drinking and maybe other things going on in the pictures being posted. I really can't blame them, but it would be naive to think it doesn't happen at every college to begin with.
Reply:To an extent a university probably could. The reason being is that since the school pays for and maintains the internet that they can decide what sites can be viewed. The school could use the argument that by doing so they are protecting the schools computers from potential viruses and hackers that can gain access to personal information.
When I was in college, although I used my own computer, I had to agree to the internet policies of the school, since I was using thier network. The University of Minnesota probably has a similar policy.
Internet law is a relatively new area, but I would imagine that the school can argue that the internet is public domain and there is not a reasonable expectation of privacy. Also many companies have policies against personal use of the net, I imagine the school can follows the laws they use as a guideline.