Rhetorical Analysis-Youthful Indiscretions Should Colleges Protect


Social Network Users from Themselves and Others?&quot by” Dana L.Fleming Article

Social Network Users from Themselves and Others?&quot by” Dana L.Fleming Article

The article focuses on the current boom of social networking sites asfacebook and Myspace, as well as their popularity among young people,especially college students. Students and young people post theirpersonal information into these sites by creating profile. Once thisis done, one can request friendship from different people, some ofwhom are total strangers. The cost of posting personal information,and sometimes controversial comments on social sites has come withvery high costs. Job recruiters, law enforcement officers and collegeauthorities have used facebook and Myspace to track students who postoffensive information in these sites. Accordingly, students have beendenied job opportunities and scholarships following comments theymade in facebook or confessions they made concerning their interests(Fleming, 2008). There is a serious need to protect youths,especially minors from harm that is associated from social networkingsites. There have been cases of sexual violence, and robbery amongother crimes that have been committed against unsuspecting children.In most cases, such kids lie about their age and they enroll to thesites where sex predators lure them to secluded places. It isapparent that information that is posted in the social networkingsites is not private and can be accessed by anyone (Fleming, 2008).The established methods of restricting access to minors have not beeneffective as there is no mechanism of determining the actual age ofmembers. Given the numerous educational benefits that the use ofinternet bring to students, it becomes difficult to restrict internetusage in schools and colleges. However, the authorities and schoolsshould find ways of protecting students from obvious harm associatedwith Myspace or facebook, as well as regulate the usage of personalinformation in any disciplinary or legal action against a student.Parents should also protect their children, especially consideringthat no previous lawsuit against facebook or Myspace has everprevailed in court.


The author questions the morality of authorities using privateinformation of students from networking sites for disciplinary actionor legal action. Accessing a private account amounts to violation ofindividual rights and it is absolutely unethical for authorities toinfringe other people’s entitlements (Fleming, 2008). Through theposition held by the author, she assumes a high moral authority, andthis makes it easy for the readers to respect and believe herargument. The ethical appeal of the writer is sufficiently presentedin the article.


The author appeals to the emotions of the reader by providingevidence of cases where students have suffered because of theirposts. The initial instances involve students who were eitherexpelled from school, forced to make public apologies or deniedscholarships following their facebook or Myspace posts (Fleming,2008). Similarly, the emotions of the reader are captured by cases ofminors who became victims of sexual predation through the socialnetworking avenues. Finally, the author appeals to the emotions ofthe reader by siting instances where parents were blamed for notprotecting their kids (Fleming, 2008).


The author establishes a logical reason and need to protect youthsand students from booming social networking sites. The argumentpresented by the author is consistent with the empirical evidencethat is provided in the article. Cases of students and who have beenvictimized, and kids who have been sexually violated and lawsuitsthat never yield anything provide internal logical consistency withregard to the need of protecting youths from the negative outcomes ofsocial sites and networks (Fleming, 2008).

In conclusion, it is clear from the article that the increased usagefacebook and Myspace among other social networking sites has comewith lots of costs to students and youths. The author providesevidence of victimization and disciplinary action against studentswho posted their private and rather weird interests on the socialnetworking sites. Sexual violence was the most appealing reason forprotection of youths and minors from sexual predators who use theinternet to obtain anonymity. Indeed, colleges should protect theirstudents from others and themselves given the dangers that thestudents expose themselves to in internet communication.


Fleming, D.L. (2008). Youthful Indiscretions Should Colleges ProtectSocial Network Users from Themselves and Others? The New EnglandJournal of Higher Education.