Thursday, January 12, 2012

Update: Facebook Kills Creative History Project

I recently posted about a creative use of Facebook by a librarian at the University of Nevada, Reno that embraced social media to make history come alive.  Today, the Chronicle reported that Facebook has deleted the accounts representing each of the historical figures due to a violation of its terms of use. 

As much as I loved the idea, I completely understand why Facebook enforced its rule that users may not “provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.”  There is a common trend among young users of Facebook to create false profiles of real people and post erroneous, inflammatory comments about them.  Maintaining integrity in social media is important. 

The Chronicle article reports that the pages received thousands of friend requests after the project hit the blogosphere and Twitterverse.  So, the good news is that people are interested in learning about historical figures through creative applications of emerging tools.  And the article also suggests that creating a Facebook Page about each of the historical figures may fall within the Facebook rules.  We'll see.

Experimentation is good.  This is how we learn to define the boundaries of our of new digital landscape and understand how we can apply it to learning.


Kentucky Homeschool Forum said...

I'm going to agree with you. With cyber bullying being such a huge issue facebook needs to be sure to enforce its TOS

Robin Green said...

Of course leave it to Facebook to do something like this... It's too bad that since others take advantage that they have to react this way.

kg said...

Hi, Michelle. I have recently discovered FakeBook ( This alternative is a ready venue to do what folks were trying to do on Facebook.

I agree with Facebook's sticking to their terms of service. I think that many of us have great intentions, but have perhaps been loose on paying attention to such things. Since my primary training audience is future teachers, I think that we really need to amp up the talk about both opportunities and obligations.

Thanks for posting this! kg