Admittedly, it's been a few years since I last read 1984 by George Orwell. However, the themes of widespread surveillance and "thoughtcrimes" are generally applicable to all sorts of present day issues. One of the curiosities that has emerged in the area of social media communications is the monitoring of student athlete accounts. The usual rationale is that this will benefit the student when the needle usually moves more towards protecting an institutions image. At least 3 companies (Varsity Monitor, UDiligence, and Fieldhouse Media) offer social media monitoring services for collegiate athletics. I've mentioned a couple of them in a previous post. Whilst perusing through Twitter the other day, I came across a tweet that brought this topic back to my radar:
Another example of how Twitter is such a terrific fire-hose of information, Severy's tweet linked up a company that I had never seen before. As Severy continued to dig and engage with folks, he asked a necessary question.
@pglove33 a bit floored by what they find. would be interesting to know how it gets 'fixed.' also found varsity monitor— Mike Severy (@MikeSevery) May 21, 2012
For more on social media monitoring in collegiate athletics, check out this in-depth post over at Deadspin. It really feels more like Orwell's 1984 than 2012. When did we stop educating our student athletes and start monitoring them for social media "thoughtcrimes," or even worse, for "brandcrimes"?
What do you think…is social media monitoring good, bad, or ugly?
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