Teacher Schooled In Facebook Privacy Policy

Facebook's share-everything-with-everyone default settings appear to have blindsided ex-teacher June Talvitie-Siple, who lost her job after making unflattering comments about her students and their parents.

Talvitie-Siple, of Cohasset, Mass., allegedly called students "germ bags" on her Facebook page, where she also stated that she continually caught new illnesses from them. She additionally allegedly wrote that her students' parents are "arrogant" and "snobby." Some parents saw the posts and complained, following which Talvitie-Siple was asked to resign.

She reportedly says she believed her posts were viewable only by her contacts -- apparently because she didn't realize that Facebook recently changed most of its default privacy settings to share-everything-with-everyone.

Of course, comments like Talvitie-Siple's could have backfired without Facebook. She could have put them in an email that a recipient circulated, or written them in a letter that got passed around.



But those scenarios would only have happened if a person she had trusted made a decision to share the information. When she posted to Facebook, the site itself made the material public.

Yes, she could have revised her settings and rejected Facebook's default recommendations. But when Facebook changed its privacy policy last December, one of the major criticisms was that users didn't realize that the new default settings shared far more information than in the past.

For Talvitie-Siple, that realization obviously came too late to save her job.

1 comment about "Teacher Schooled In Facebook Privacy Policy".
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  1. David Carlick from Carlick, August 20, 2010 at 12:41 a.m.

    The truth will set you free.
    (Sometimes, free of a job.)

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