Students punished for ‘vulgar’ social media posts are fighting back (subscription)

By: | February 5, 2021

In the age of social media, when platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are struggling with how much to police their content, universities are finding themselves in a similar position.

They are fumbling to translate policies around decorum, civil speech and personal expression into the world of social media, where the line between public and private communication is fuzzy at best. And young people are fighting back, contending that their off-campus speech is no business of their school.

The conflicts, which have often been resolved by court settlements, have intensified during the coronavirus pandemic, when the boundaries between work and home or campus and personal life have dissolved, said Peter Lake, who often advises college presidents and is the director of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law.

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