A number of US schools are using social media monitoring software to watch students and their online activities.
According to the news website Click Orlando, the institutes have bought access to sophisticated social media monitoring platform, named Snaptrends, that will allow them to analyze how students use popular social media like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. The schools want to prevent situations of danger for students, including the cyberbullying.
“Orange County Public Schools announced Thursday that it has acquired software to monitor social media to proactively prevent, intervene and (watch) situations that may impact students and staff.” The district has obtained an annual license with SnapTrends, software that monitors Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.” states the Click Orlando.
The representatives of the Orange County school district in Florida speculate that monitoring social media it is possible to track a profile of the students and quickly respond when students are exposed to serious risks. The initiative aims to prevent cyberbullying episodes, crime and also suicide.
Snaptrends can collect information from social media and make possible to perform intelligence activities on them, for example, giving the operators the ability to query the system to analyze what is being talked about in a specific place or looking for particular keywords.
Of course the adoption of the system is raising a heated debate on privacy concerns, but we must be conscious that systems like Snaptrends could help to protect children. The system could also help law enforcement to gather information on risky situations.
“This is a tool that gives the district intelligence into a situation that could possibly prevent something more serious from happening,” Orange County Public Schools Senior Director of Safety and Security Doug Tripp said.
“Safety in and around school campuses is the top priority for Orange County school leaders,” OCPS said in a news release. “Recognizing social media is a major communication system, the district has acquired social media monitoring software.”
(Security Affairs – Snaptrends, social media monitoring)