Pros and Cons of School Secrets Pages on Facebook

Sketch by Elaine S. (2T)
Sketch by Elaine S. (2T)

Recently someone has set up a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/LW-Secrets/194398600708258) enabling people to comment anonymously on school affairs. I asked one of the Form 2 (Grade 8) classes at the school to think of the pros and cons of such a page and his is a summary of their points.

Pros

  • It allows students to express their opinions, possibly leading to positive changes in things like teaching styles and the administration of school rules.
  • It allows students to release their anger.
  • It provides a new platform for communication.
  • The posts are funny and entertaining.
  • Students can learn more about school life, school administration and teachers.
  • The posts provide common talking points.
  • Students may get good advice on how to solve problems or deal with issues.

Cons

  • It can harm the schools reputation if students are frequently publicly criticizing the school, demonstrating poor language skills, showing poor critical thinking skills, using rude language and/or focusing on trivial gossip.
  • It can damage the reputation of individual teachers and students.
  • It can harm the self-esteem and/or credibility of individual students and teachers if negative comments are posted about them. Comments can hurt others’ feelings (teachers and/or students).
  • It can have a negative effect on relationships between different parties (e.g., between teachers and students, between students and the administration, between different classes, between individuals).
  • It can allow for cyber bullying.
  • People the comment writers might want to change might become more resistant to change (e.g., The administration, if criticized publicly and rudely, might act defensively and be less willing to change its policies).
  • It can waste student’s time.
  • It can intrude on people’s right to privacy.
  • Students may get bad advice on how to solve problems or deal with issues.
  • Comments posted may simply not be true.
  • Comments about the school may be posted by outsiders who are simply pretending to be students.
  • It promotes the idea of democratic freedom (you can say whatever you want) without responsibility (as you are writing anonymously, you may avoid any negative consequences of your action.

Personal Opinion

From my point of view, whether or not the secrets page is a good thing depends on how the students are using it. There is the potential to open up constructive dialogues, but there is also great potential for damage. With the anonymous and public posting system, however, there is definitely a lack of any kind of safeguard. If a harassed teacher or student leaves the school or in a worst-case scenario commits suicide, I wonder if page administrator and the individual commenters will accept any responsibility?

Your Opinion

What about your own point of view? Leave you comment below

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11 Comments

  1. I think an online platform for students to express their opinions towards the school is needed. Schoolmates can discuss on different issues and pay more attention to the school more frequently. I think it may not directly harm the school’s image as the opinions can be both positive and negative. The administrator of the secret page can also remove inappropriate post to reduce harm to school image or students’ misunderstanding towards the school.

  2. The secret page is a platform to speak up and share their own opinions and ideas on Lam Woo recent affairs. However, there might be more gossips and opposition on school policies. Besides, the page might be abused to post jokes of students and teachers which is not a respectful thing.

  3. Lam Woo Secret is a great platform for everyone from Lam Woo to share their views of recent affairs in Lam Woo. It likes a democracy wall that everyone can say everything. It is good if we all respect others. If we say comments in respectful way and the school allow this page, the school will become more democratic. We will have more speech freedom and then the school will develop more better with harmless policies. However, if someone bully others with showing others’ names on this page, others will lose their self-esteem sadly because this page is open for public. Public may use violence to treat the victims. In my opinion, this page can be kept but we should not bully anyone and we should respect each other.

  4. To provide a channel for students to communicate,Lam Woo Secret is certainly a fantastic place. Sharing their feelings toward the school is quite good so that the school can improve by viewing the comment. However ,if some student abuse it and gossip in Lam Woo Secret, t may cause a bad effect. Cyber bullying may easy to happen on this kind of platform. Our school can delete post and follow up if they discover that. Our school should not close the page unless there is really serious matter happen,because if the school close the channel for people to express they may feel dissatisfied. They may seen this as a way to invaded their privacy community so I hope the school can keep Lam Woo Secret for the students.

  5. From my opinion, I think LW Secrets is a good place for students to get in touch with each others. It provides a platform for students to express and share their feelings and opinions such as their anger and unsatisfactory towards some school rules and teaching styles of some teachers. They may not have the opportunity to talk about those things at school. On LW Secrets, the students can post posts without typing their own names so that they do not have to worry how others see them.
    However, some readers, especially the younger ones, may mix up opinions and facts. The posts may mislead their point of views toward something. They may not have experienced those things but they believe the information on LW Secrets blindly and misunderstand.
    To conclude, I think LW Secrets is important but the users have to pay more attention and think carefully before believing anything.

  6. I think pages on facebook can allow us to communicate and students may share some information. But it is not necessary to be a secret page. Nowaday, we encourage open discussion and active participation. So open pages on facebook can serve same purposes.

  7. I had read all the posts on the LAMWOO SECRETS since September.
    Here I have the thought about it:

    The pros~~
    – It creates a good platform for students to communicate.
    – Students can voice out something about the school policy, rather than the board created by SU.
    – Students can have a better entertainment ( if they can manage the time correctly), rather than playing computer games.
    – It can make the new F1. students know more about the school.
    The cons~~
    – No one cam really control what the students said, the post may be insult to someone.
    – As long as there is a popular issue, there may have a non-stop quarrel between the students.
    – The page is public, everybody can look at it (the citizens and parents), the quarrel may affect the impression of Lmwoo to the others.

    Here is just my thought, no offend to anyone.

  8. I think it is good to have a platform to discuss about school affair, because the teachers and the related students can improve their policy/activity. It could prevent students getting more and more disappointed or angry, while the related people know nothing about it. That Facebook page can let them collect student’s opinions.
    However, I agree that negative impression to the school will be given to the public if we don’t use it properly, such as using foul language to scold others. We cannot punish the one misuse it as it is anonymous.
    Therefore, I think behaving ourselves is very important and it will be better if it can identify the one who comment and read are Lam Woo students and teachers only.

  9. At my point of view, many things are ‘two-edged sword’. There isn’t anything which do not have cons. For Lam Woo Secrets Page, people can use it to expose others’ secrets while people can also use it as a channel of exchanging views on the school issues. If the page shut down, we will loss a platform to communicate. If the page continues to operate, people’s privacy will be violate and there may be bullying. Under this situation, the only way we can do is to have self-discipline. We have the rights to voice out so we have also to take up our responsibility-respect others.

  10. In my opinion this will do affect people a lot because those are secrets of the people themselves. We should respect them. We don’t want people to know our secrets too, do we? However sometimes it is good to have these secret pages because sometimes we can discuss some secrets that not many people know. Also, some secrets that are not so suitable to be spread out to public can be shared here( not in the public). Lastly we can know more about some events in the secret page. It can provide more information for the users.

  11. I do not agree that the website for our school secret is good because it will affect a lot and a lot. Firstly, it will affect the schools’ image to other people because there are many negative comments from students. There will also a chance that the student exagarette something and affect others’ image and value. Lastly, it will waste students’ time to look at the page and it is also important that we should respect others’ privacy.

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