Legal risks for students using social networking sites

Michael Henderson, Melissa de Zwart, David Lindsay, Michael Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


There are significant privacy, intellectual property, copyright and disclosure risks associated with the ill-considered use of social networking sites, however, the implementation of regulatory actions may also undermine the social and emerging educational utility of social networking sites for young people. Inevitably the burden of dealing with the risks of social networking sites must necessarily fall on the development of educational strategies designed to equip young people with the skills and tools to manage their own personal information, and respect the privacy of others, including their teachers. While several valuable projects have tackled the issue of cyberbullying surrounding the use of social network sites, little research has been performed in Australia on the broader legal issues. This paper describes some of these serious and frequently misunderstood legal risks and outlines the current large scale research project aimed at identifying student practices as well as the perceptions of their teachers and parents. This paper will provide a valuable discussion point for teachers and administrators who are trying to understand the broader legal implications of personal and educational use of social networking sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-7
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Educational Computing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


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