Japanese high school will suspend students who don’t reveal their social media account names

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「Schoolgirl’s teacher says that if she doesn’t like being monitored online, she can drop out of school instead.

The new school year is just starting in Japan, which means new classmates to meet, new things to learn, and, of course, new dumb school policies to follow. Japanese Twitter user @asanansonsi’s high school is wasting no time on that third category, as she recently shared a snapshot that’s causing plenty of head-scratching and fist-shaking.

According to her Twitter profile, @asanansonsi is currently in her second year of high school, and her school recently passed out a form for the students to complete regarding their social media use. The first question, as shown in the photo she tweeted, asked the students if they use Line, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or some other social media platform, and also asked about how many “friends” they have on each. That’s a bit nosy, but arguably understandable, as educators should at least be aware of how large a part of teens’ lives social media has become in just the past few years. But where things get creepy is in question two of the form, which commanded:

“This is for those of you who answered ‘Yes’ in regards to using social media. In order to prevent trouble caused via social media, this school performs Internet patrols. To prevent any trouble, please write down the ID you use for each of your social media accounts.”」

I guess its not surprising because of Japan and some of their prestigious schools but god damn. Schools have absolutely no fucking business monitoring your internet life! Why would you waste time, money, and manpower doing 'internet patrols' which could be better spent elsewhere? What in the case that you don't have any social media but they don't trust your word? Will you just be rejected on baseless assumptions? Insanity.

「Many would argue it’s bad enough that the school wants the students to be subject to social media surveillance going forward, but also think about the exact way in which the survey’s questions are presented. The school is asking for the account names of students’ pre-existing social media accounts, which means that administrators will not only be able to see what students are posting now, but what they did in the past as well. Since @asanansonsi is starting in her second year of Japanese high school, she’s 16 years old, meaning she’s potentially already posted years worth of things on social media without knowing that her future teachers would be insisting on the right to sift through it.」

What you have said online in the past can be used against you which has been done and proven many times now. This shows why privacy and especially anonymity is important. You should be able to be free to speak your mind rather than self-censor yourself in fear of repercussions because of shit like this.

「“This survey from my school is totally crazy,” tweeted @asanansonsi, but some of our more cunning readers might already be asking why students don’t just use the obvious solution and lie by simply saying they’re not on social media, keep their account names secret, and go on posting whatever they like without fear of the school looking over their shoulder? Because after asking the students to write down their social media account names, the form passed out by the school goes on to say:

“Students are not allowed to use social media accounts other than the ones they write down on this form. If you are found to be using an account not declared on this form, you will be suspended from school.”

Oh, and when @asanansonsi told her teacher she thought the school was going too far, the educator’s reply was “High school education isn’t mandatory [in Japan], so if you don’t like the policy, you’re free to drop out.”」

You are not allowed to do what I told you not to do! The obvious choice here would be to stay away from this school and go to a different one. EVERYONE should do this but unfortunately that won't always be the case especially if the school is renown for certain things. Well, better hope you don't get caught young students or there'll be hell to pay!!!

「That’s a lot easier said than done, though. Even though high school isn’t required, it’s practically impossible to get a job in Japan where you can earn enough to support yourself with only a middle-school education, but voluntarily changing school now would likely require @asanansonsi or her classmates to wait a year until the next round of entrance exams and admissions processes, with that extra year until graduation carrying a negative stigma when they start looking for higher education or adult employment.」

Well I was partly correct. Japanese education and work culture is pretty ridiculous.

「However, there’s a bit of a silver lining to the story. You might have noticed that we haven’t shown you @asanansonsi’s tweet itself, and that’s because after tweeting about the school’s social media survey, she’s made all of her tweets private. She’s obeyed the letter of the law by providing her school with her account name, and they’re now as free as anyone else to stare at Twitter’s notice that the account’s tweets, and its owner’s privacy, are protected.」

Great decision @asanansonsi . Fuck them.