There's a fantastic article by Brendan Rowan PO '11 in this past issue of The Student Life. The title pretty much says it all: "Something Offensive is Found on the Internet, Determined to be "Bias-Related." Good on The Student Life for publishing it. Here's a sample from the article:
A recent event, which involved “inappropriately tagged posted photos found on KGI students’ Facebook pages,” may serve as a good example. As per standard operating procedure, the e-mail ends with an invitation to “any student in need of support concerning this incident” to contact the appropriate organization (AAMP, OBSA, etc.), and an invitation to any student who “perceives a racist or sexist incident on campus” to report it to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible. First and foremost, we might ask ourselves whether it is the college’s responsibility (or right, for that matter) to monitor the goings-on of a web site such as Facebook. Even though social networking sites occupy a dubious position somewhere between public and private space, it is a tad frightening that a purported institution of higher learning finds it incumbent upon itself to police its students’ non-academic lives (and we’re not talking about Bob Jones here, this is a liberal institution). Remember that everyone, even chauvinists, have the right to free speech. If a student is offended by some remarks or incidents, then they should contact their local law enforcement agency, or in this case the Facebook administrators. If getting the law involved seems like an overreaction, then maybe the involved parties should reconsider how deeply they have been offended.