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New Guidelines for Teachers on Social Media Issues

Wednesday 12th January 2011

The National Association of Head teachers (NAHT) said the fastest growing source of calls to its advice line involved misuse of such popular internet sites as Facebook and teachers needed more guidance on how to deal with it. A new guide has been issued to teachers across the country amid a rising number of complaints about intimidation of staff online. According to Russell Hobby, the NAHT general secretary, social networks have been used to make personal attacks on staff as well as "unsubstantiated" allegations regarding management decisions.

The NAHT is calling for Facebook and other social networks to speed up the time it takes to act on reports of abuse, while also improving the way such abuse is reported.

A Facebook spokeswoman said reports of a “serious nature”, such as bullying or harassment, are prioritised and reviewed by experts within 24 hours.

"Facebook has clear rules about content which can be posted on the site and we provide people with robust mechanisms to report content or activity that breaches our terms,” she said.

"Facebook has worked hard to develop these reporting mechanisms but the reality is that many discussions that take place on Facebook reflect those that are happening offline.

"However, while you can’t report a conversation outside the school gates or easily stop a person sending abusive, anonymous emails, Facebook gives people the tools to report offensive content they are concerned about.”


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