Publishing a Tweeter’s Name

At Penn State in 2013, a white student tweeted a racially insensitive tweet after there had been previous racial tensions at the university. It was decided by the Collegian that they would post a story about the tweet (which received many retweets and attention throughout the day) including the student’s photo, name, and Twitter account (deleted the same day). The college paper tried to reach out to the student before writing a story but could not reach her. They thought it was appropriate to release the information in an article because the original had been retweeted over 100 times, thus, in their opinion, making it public knowledge. In deciding it would be published, the editors decided she had become  “public figure” due to the strong reaction from the student body.


The link to a case study of this example can be viewed here

The link to the story that ran in the Collegian is posted here

Though this example is not necessarily one that shows wrong decisions being made, I felt it was appropriate as we have had similar issues with privacy here at UNL with the UNL haters blog being published (though not created by a news organization). Similar cases have also happened nationwide at college campuses and I thought it may spark a good discussion.
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