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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

eSchool Top News Online

Bloggers dub marketing schemes 'FacebookGate' as companies try to snag student data with false college social-networking groups
By Dennis Carter, Assistant Editor

After a college resource company created a legion of phony Class of 2013 Facebook groups--a scheme that could have harvested personal information from thousands of students--some higher-education officials say it might be time for colleges to step in and manage online social-networking sites for their campuses themselves.
"It was a wakeup call for many that social media is no longer a 'maybe' and that schools need to actively pursue a social media presence," said Brad J. Ward, coordinator for electronic communications at Butler University in Indianapolis and a blogger who first exposed the scheme Dec. 18, later dubbed "FacebookGate" in the blogosphere.
Ward noticed that a student named Patrick Kelly from Plano High School started a Facebook group for members of Butler University's Class of 2013, or this year's college freshmen. Ward checked the university's database and did not find Kelly enrolled. He checked further and found hundreds of Facebook groups for institutions nationwide, created by a handful of supposed students--including Kelly.

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Source: eSchool News

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