When Geoffrey Arone volunteered as an alumni interviewer of students applying to his alma maters, Brown and MIT, he discovered that some applicants' ill-considered contributions to social networks were affecting their chances of acceptance. So he co-founded SafetyWeb, a way for parents "not only to protect their kids’ reputation, but also their privacy and safety, when it comes to the Internet," according to a news release I just received. "It automatically monitors a child's online activities and immediately red-flags for parents any and all potential issues."
The news release cites an unnamed study in which 38 percent of college admissions directors "admit that what they saw on applicant’s social profiles 'negatively affected' their views of the applicant."
Would you sign up for such a service? Is this an inevitable consequence of the Internet era, or should college admissions officers be discouraged from roaming the net in search of dirt on applicants? When will the lawsuits begin? I am not sure what to think of this. Help me.
Respond in the comments below with your suggestions about whether social network searches by colleges are ethical and if parents need special tools.