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Monday, February 13, 2006

OPEN SEASON ON BLOGS

My readers were of one mind in concluding that anything a child posts on a public blog is fair game for teachers, parents or others to read.

"There is no expectation of privacy in a public forum," writes Alan Sechrest of Mission Viejo, Calif.

Kevin Eav of Irvine, Calif., likens blogs to the whiteboards posted on dorm-room doors. "If someone reads a blog and learns something that the blogger didn't want them to," Eav writes, "then that is the fault of the blogger."

"Of course parents and teachers should be able to read these blogs,"writes Jamie Thomas of Costa Mesa, Calif. "Maybe kids would relearn the sense of modesty that seems to be lacking from today's `Net' generation."

After hearing from students about their pages at
www.myspace.com, Kelly Yarborough, a teacher from Cypress, Calif., checked out their sites...and told them about it the next day. "If they had asked me not to return," she writes, "I would have abided by their requests."

Beth Houghton of Cypress, Calif., thinks that most bloggers understand that their postings are available even to their near and dear, even if some young people think otherwise. "Only the standard-issue arrogant kid could think that he or she can make public their most intimate thoughts/urges/musings or practices to the entire world and everyone but the parents is invited to read," Houghton fumes. "What insolence!"


Post your own thoughts on the topic below by clicking on "Comments." Please include your name, hometown and state in your response or email them to me at rightthing@nytimes.com.

1 comment:

yawningdog said...

To blog or not to blog that is the question....Shakespeare is rolling in his grave.

Cliché, I know, but the question is important. There is no privacy on the net. No one should expect any. But bloggers really need to think about their readers. I use the, "Well, would my mom think this is okay." test. Now add, "Would my mom think this is okay if she knew I wrote it."


I have started a blog. I am writing about the dogs that stay at my kennel. I try to be funny, and I stick to the topic of dogs. But am I ready for an audience? I am not sure. My business name is on this, I am not anonymous, and neither are the dogs. I have yet to advertise my site to my clients. I am trying to make sure the content is good, funny, appropriate, and that I can keep doing this daily. Maybe next month, I will have an official unveiling. maybe.