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Watchful, Wary and Wise - Be Smart Online: Facebook

Learning how to behave appropriately and responsibly online, stay safe and create a positive personal profile are skills that everyone needs to develop

Privacy on Facebook

Homework is Suffering

FACEBOOK is proving a major distraction to thousands of Australian teenagers and having a bad effect on their schoolwork.

Doing homework is increasingly coming a poor second to social networking, a survey reveals.

The study of students aged 11-18 by youth and self-development experts Oxygen Factory found more than three quarters of students admitted their homework suffered as a result of being glued to sites such as Facebook.

"The majority of students surveyed were in the 15 to 18-year-old age bracket, which means at a critical time when they should be focused on the HSC and future plans after school, they are often spending six hours a week or more chatting to their friends online."

Online Chat Hits Homework

Facebook / MySpace Cyber Bullying


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Top 10 Turn-offs for Employers

Top ten turn-offs for employers on social networking websites

1.  References to drug abuse
2.  Extremist / intolerant views, including racism, sexism
3.  Criminal activity
4.  Evidence of excessive alcohol consumption
5.  Inappropriate pictures, including nudity
6.  Foul language
7.  Links to unsuitable websites
8.  Lewd jokes
9.  Silly email addresses
10.  Membership of pointless / silly groups

From Online Recruitment website

''Facebook is the virtual toilet wall of modern society, except it is permanent and won't rub off."

Make Sure Your Facebook Profile Doesn't Lose You a Job

Employers are increasingly using Facebook (and other social networking sites) to check up on potential and current employees. People have been disciplined at work, have missed out on job positions, or have even been dismissed due to comments they've left on Facebook and similar sites.
In the credit crunch times, you can't afford to have anything working against you. Here's how to make sure your Facebook profile isn't visible to your boss - and how to clean it up if necessary...

Step 1: Checking Your Privacy Settings
Do you know who might be reading your Facebook profile? Are you really certain that it's only limited to those people who you've accepted a Friend request from?

As you can imagine, giving potential bosses (and your past professors - people who might write you a reference) access to your entire profile could be a no-no....But if you pack your profile with rude quotes, if your status update regularly includes how drunk/stoned/lazy you are, and if the photos of you are ones you'd never want to be posted on the office noticeboard ... you might want to limit all of the information in your profile to friends only.

Why Should I Bother?

When an employer decides to check you out on Facebook prior to interviewing you, they won't be able to see your profile, photos of you, and so on. The first impression they get of you will be a professional one from the interview. Leaving your Facebook profile open to them is a bit like inviting them to come and nose around your home (when it's at its most untidy)

Step 2: Cleaning Up Your Profile

Some quick tips that might help you are:

  • Get rid of any silly, profane or potentially bigoted (racist/sexist/etc) group memberships

  • Try to list some favorite books, not just films and music. Employers will be impressed if you look well-read.

  • Make your Quotations ones which are funny/profound, not all lewd jokes that your friends made after a few drinks..

  • Check for typos and spelling mistakes: these might seem unimportant to you, but they could be sending a negative impression to potential employers
For most of us, photos to look out for are:
  • Photos where you look drunk/stoned/comatose (even if you were "just caught at a bad angle, honest")

  • Photos containing a number of "unsuitable" looking friends

  • Photos where someone's put a really dodgy caption about you (sadly, employers may decide against you based not only on your profile, but on what your friends seem to be like).

  • Any photos containing evidence of illegal or semi-illegal activity - especially if your employer or school could penalise you for it.
Step 3: Keeping Your Profile Clean

Some good points to pause for thought are:

  • When setting your status. Do you really want to declare that "John thinks work SUCKS" or that "Jane is thinking of throwing a sickie?" Even something a bit less obvious, like moaning about a difficult client, could rebound badly on you.

  • When uploading photos. Is it really something you want your office colleagues to see? Or your mum?

  • When commenting on other people's photos, wall, etc. Think about what your words might convey to someone who wasn't in on the joke or the conversation. Would you look bigoted, illiterate or plain nasty?

Information from a blog post by Ali Hale

Images from  and The Joy of Tech

Positive Facebook Use

Who Can View My Facebook Page?


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Be careful if you friend your boss!!

If you have 600 'friends' on Facebook, be careful to remember who they all are, because you might get a surprise if your boss catches you out!! 


Related link:  How to Monitor Your Employees' Facebook Use

Bad-mouthing employers on Facebook, spending time on Facebook while at work, and sharing sensitive work-related information on Facebook are all areas of concern in the business world. This link suggests tips to employers for keeping track of their employees’ conversations on social networking sites, including Facebook.

Australian Sacking for Facebook Comment

WHEN Antony Dekort had two sick days around New Year's Eve he did not expect to be sacked. But after the barman's employer saw a photo on Facebook of Mr Dekort celebrating the new year he was promptly dismissed.

Not even a doctor's certificate which Mr Dekort obtained a few days later saved him from losing his job at Johns River Tavern, south of Port Macquarie.

(This and other Australian cases from The Sydney Morning Herald 2/11/10 - Facebook posting boasting led to sack )

Legal Consequences

Keely kept the death threat comments on her Facebook page for 24 hours. She was given 3 months jail & a restraining order for 5 years.

Keely Houghton vs Emily Moore

Facebook Vandalism

Facebook is a great social networking site, but irresponsible use can cause a lot of pain and heartache for other people. Often teenagers don't think before they write comments, and then wonder about the reaction from the majority of adults who are offended by the comments.

Think before you post!!

Be aware of your audience and think about the consequences!

In February 2010 internet vandals posted pornographic images and comments on Facebook sites set up after the deaths of 12 year old Elliot Fletcher and 8 year old Trinity Bates.

Shortly after, a Facebook site was set up called 'If one million people sign up I'll give Daniel Morcombe back". The Morcombe family found this site to be offensive and distressing, even though it was probably only a thoughtless prank to begin with.

'Mrs Morcombe said she felt disgust and distress when she learned of the site mocking the family's heartbreaking ordeal since Daniel's disappearance on December 7, 2003.  "They've even created a fake profile using Daniel's name and picture. It's very distressing that it's still up there," Mrs Morcombe said.

( /story/0,,26775616-3102,00.html)

Facebook Trolls


FACEBOOK “troll” Jessica Chantelle Cook was given a suspended jail sentence for posting offensive material (images of pornography and human remains) on a tribute page for murdered Sunshine Coast woman, Justine Jones.

2 August 2010 -  Facebook troll Jessica Cook pleads guilty 


4 June 2010 - Man charged for defacing Facebook tribute pages

Detective Superintendent Peter Crawford said there was a clear message out of the arrest:

"You are not anonymous when online and you can and will be held responsible for your actions when they breach state or Commonwealth legislation."

Online Privacy in Facebook

Mark Zuckerburg's Facebook Apology