Facebook Ordered To Stop Helping Kids Skip Class In Argentina

from the logic-failure dept

When I was in high school, it was customary every year or so for there to be some sort of injustice that the students were upset about concerning the administration of the school. If it escalated enough, the kids would decide to stage some sort of protest -- which at least once involved skipping out on school for the day. Obviously, often enough, such efforts are really just a way for kids to have an excuse to skip out on classes for a day, but this sort of thing seemed pretty common even back when I was in high school. However, now, with things like Facebook... suddenly it's Facebook's fault that the same thing is happening?

Reader Osno alerts us to the news of a legal battle down in Argentina where a judge has ordered Facebook to block any group advocating student protests that involved skipping classes (that link is a Google translation of the original article).

Apparently, the back story, is that a large group of students in Mendoza, Argentina had organized a day to skip out on school via Facebook. The media in Argentina played up the story, and it resulted in other students around the country planning similar "skip school" days. Rather than recognize that this is what kids do, the whole thing has gone to court, with a judge claiming that this is somehow Facebook's fault, and it must start blocking any such groups. According to the translation:
"We did a little research on the basis of the allegations and found that the company was in breach of certain laws, as is of danger to health or integrity of its users...."
That seems like a pretty severe twisting of laws concerning requirements to protect the health of users. According to Osno, politicians are backing the judge, warning of what other groups Facebook might be used to create next -- such as the "great smokeout to smoke dope." Apparently, these folks are unaware that the same thing has happened for ages, using pretty much any communication method available -- whether it was email, telephone, paper or (*gasp*) talking in person. Blaming the communications medium isn't going to change any of that.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    crade (profile), May 13th, 2010 @ 10:15am

    Yes but facebook makes communication easier, so now it must be controlled. Free communication was fine before when hardly anyone was listening. Now that you can reach people with your communication, apparently what you say must be censored.

     

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      Ima Fish (profile), May 13th, 2010 @ 10:20am

      Re:

      Good point.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2010 @ 2:14pm

      Re:

      It's like with public airwaves. They make communication easier, so the FCC had to control everyone from using them to communicate. Can't have the public organize against special interest groups that seek to pass bad laws.

      It's partly why most of the laws in this country are so messed up, we can't communicate and so big corporations rob us blind with broken laws that enslave us while everyone is intentionally kept ignorant. The Internet now must be controlled.

       

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    Ima Fish (profile), May 13th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    Back 70s and 80s my high school had a "senior skip day." One day in the last month of school where all the seniors would skip classes. It's amazing we accomplished such an amazing feat without the use of social networking or smart phones. Of course driving around with bald feet was a huge downside.

     

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      Trails (profile), May 13th, 2010 @ 10:33am

      Re:

      I remember those skip days. Find a secluded spot in a park somewhere, engage in all kinds of silliness. They were fun until the velociraptors moved in for the kill, then it was just blood and screaming.

       

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 13th, 2010 @ 11:49am

      Re:

      We had senior skip days in my high school. They were sprinkled threw the year and were never on the same day twice. Except April 20th, that was always a skip day. It wasn't that long ago but it was still before computers were in every home (about 10 years now). We had no problem spreading info around.

      We also had senior week where no one showed up for the entire last week of school, but that was school sanctioned.

       

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    Hoeppner, May 13th, 2010 @ 10:26am

    They still have "senior skip day" here. quite a few don't participate, but most teachers won't schedule tests on that day and the more "obnoxious" ones won't bother to collect attendance.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2010 @ 10:41am

    for there to be some sort

    typo alert...

     

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    NAMELESS ONE, May 13th, 2010 @ 11:00am

    and next

    we ask hammer makers stop helping crazy people smash other politicians over the head OH wait WE WANT THAT

    lol sooner or later someone with some spare bucks is gonna cite these laws and start going aftre real stupid crap

    can't wait i will print it and post it all over town

     

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    Osno (profile), May 13th, 2010 @ 11:27am

    What I really think (and I didn't include in the submission) is that they're starting to realize that no political affinity is needed to build a demonstration/organization and they're really really scared.

    BTW, even though politicians may be parroting the media I think I stated (and submitted) it incorrectly. The "great smoke of Mendoza" was coined by a conservative media representative. Media and politics is almost the same here anyway, so no big wrong.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), May 13th, 2010 @ 11:51am

    Safety

    It's always both amusing and disgusting how whenever a politician or a cop doesn't like something but realizes there's no law against it, they automatically turn it into a "safety" issue.

    If every kid staying home from school is such a threat to safety, how the hell do they deal with weekends in that country?

     

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    Diego Nebot, May 13th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Some datails

    I´m a lawyer from Mendoza. Been following the case.
    For now, it´s just a precautory order, not a final veredict. In fact, I think a federal (not a local) judge will have to carry on with the case.
    I´ve read the paper. It´s absolutly unfounded.
    In case any of you are interested, I´ll be soon uploading some annotations in my blog. You can contact me on Twitter, @diegonebot.
    Sorry about my english.
    Bye!

     

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      Osno (profile), May 13th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

      Re: Some datails

      I don't get it (mainly because I'm not a lawyer ;)). You think that a federal court in Argentina has any say on what Facebook does? Or in the case the activity itself is deemed illegal, do you think that's actually good or enforceable? (you can answer in spanish if it's easier for you, I'll translate).

       

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    NAMELESS ONE, May 13th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    @all of you

    WHY are you using twitter
    LOL

     

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