ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - As the Twitterverse and other social media worlds continue to grow and change, the conversation surrounding monitoring of accounts and privacy on these sites heats up.
School officials in Glendale, Calif. hired a company called Geo Listening to track the social media posts of 13,000 middle and high school students, according to a CBS News story. The purpose is to step in if a student discusses issues such as bullying, violence or substance abuse.
The cost for the service is more than $40,000.
In the St. Louis metropolitan area, two college students have recently been arrested for threatening comments posted on their social media accounts.
Last week, police arrested a St. Charles Community College student for sending a tweet considered terroristic. Wednesday,police arrested a St. Louis Community College student for posting threatening tweets after a meeting with financial aid.
In the St. Louis Community College incident, the student tweeted at the school's Twitter handle. The college doesn't monitor individual student accounts, but it does monitor its social media accounts and interactions.
In the St. Charles Community College case, a college employee monitors tweets sent on campus.
One Facebook fan wrote on the KSDK page, "If it is a tweet it's not spying. It's not private, they are publicly threatening."
Another fan posted, "I'm torn: Yes, privacy is important, but so is our kids' safety. I would rather a child were stopped before something terrible happened."
What are your thoughts on it? Should school officials monitor student's individual social media accounts? Is this too invasive an approach for schools?