University Told It Can't Sanction Students For Their Facebook Comments

from the free-speech-and-all... dept

Last year we had a discussion about some students at the University of Calgary, who were put on probation for making some comments about a professor on Facebook. Apparently, the students went to court to protest this move and said that such a move violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. It seems a court agreed. Michael Geist points us to the news that the court has said that sanctioning the students based on Facebook comments is a violation of the Charter. The University had argued that the comments were defamation (when they looked more like a general opinion) and that it was not subject to the Charter. The court absolutely disagreed. Nice to see free speech being respected.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Del Boy, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 5:03am

    Unless the dude was a total c*$%

    Using social websites to post negavtive or just diss someone is not really what there for.

    I would judge the morals of the poster against the person they are diss'in.

    It is a sort of cyber bullying, harrasment that has dogged social websites since they became popular, and a practice that well is cowardly.
    Say what you think to their face & not to their facebook.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Bengie, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 5:19am

    Hmmm.

    Del Boy's way

    Student: "Mr. Teacher, you're not a very nice person"
    Teacher: "STFU"

    Facebook way
    Student: "To the World: Personally, I think Mr Teacher was a general asshole"
    Teacher: "Ohhh shit"

     

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  3.  
    icon
    Kingster (profile), Oct 19th, 2010 @ 5:46am

    "Nice to see free speech being respected."

    Yeah... Too bad we have to go to Canada to have that freedom of speech...

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anon, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 6:03am

    Re:

    Oh, it's not so bad. Their is plenty of hockey and we even have KFC's double down now, so we can fatten up for winter.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Del Boy, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 6:16am

    Re: Hmmm.

    Well if you have children at high school you will get my point.

    Del boys way indeed.. like I need clarification from an idiot lol

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Greg G, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 6:18am

    Re: Hmmm.

    Agreed. Saying it to their face is one thing, and you might want to start there in a private meeting to discuss the issue.

    If the professor is still a general asshole, then yea, I have every right to let the whole university know my opinion of said professor. Facebook is most likely the quickest way to do so.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    NullOp, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 6:22am

    Freedom

    Very glad to hear freedom of speech is being upheld at least to some degree. Having been through the university system I can tell you authoritatively that at some point in your college career you'll find a truly bad professor and you'll wonder why the school keeps them on.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Fanic, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 6:48am

    Re: Freedom

    In my college career I found out why they do not get rid of them. They are afraid the prof will go starch raving mad and firebomb the school. That is what the administration told me when I was harassed by a tenured prof.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Any Mouse, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Hmmm.

    Yes. The morals of the poster. I wonder what exactly is immoral about discussing opinion online with your friends. And oh, look at that! Kids in college, myself. Well, your point wasn't made. This is an expression of their rights, and unless the comments were truly defamatory (they weren't), there's no call to drag them to court. That, sir, is the truly cowardly act. Going up to a tenured professor and asking to discuss their attitude is absolute idiocy.

     

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  10.  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Oct 19th, 2010 @ 7:18am

    Re: Freedom

    Count yourself very lucky if you only have one.

    I think there would be less cyber bullying if the kids in grade school were permitted to work out their social problems on the playground.

    ....bully beats up a few kids, kids learn to leave bully alone...bully gets too big for his britches....new bully comes to the school or a group of kids works together or that one shy cute girl... gives bully a good beating out by the back gate.....


    Even the kids that just watch learn invaluable lessons.

    Of course now days you would need a secure campus so that kids just used their fists and didn't bring their parents stub nose to school.

     

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  11.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Oct 19th, 2010 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Freedom

    I once had a professor go starch raving mad. He went into the laundry room and starched all my shirts.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 7:40am

    Re: Unless the dude was a total c*$%

    lol, aren't you captain of the fun patrol. I imagine your social network and friends are all saints and never have anything negative to say about anyone at any time...

    or you forgot /sarc. Whichever way I lol!

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 7:47am

    Yea for students that have the time to pursue this.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 9:44am

    Re: Freedom

    What happens at University's is that professors become tenured and then they are impossible to fire, so the the professor doesn't care about doing a good job and the University is unable to do anything about it.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Stacy, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    Freedom of Speech?

    It seems as though the more power these social networking sites gain, the less of a chance we have for freedom of speech. What is this world coming to?!

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Bengie, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 3:53pm

    Actually

    When I went to college, we had a questionnaire at the end of the term to fill out about the teacher what what we thought about them.

    I've seen teachers who have been at the Uni for 20+ years get put on academic probation for low scores from their students.

    They were taken off of research and given shitty remedial classes to get their student evaluations back up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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