Social Media

Mashable, one of the leading social media blogs, has just released a list of 5 ways QR codes could transform the 2012 election.  What could make QR codes so much more powerful in this upcoming 2012 election cycle than they were in the 2008 election cycle is that in just 4 short years smart phones have gone mainstream in a big way.  They've made it easy for voters to scan a code and then be directed to a campaign video, make a donation or sign up to volunteer all from their phones.  Appropriately enough, innovative state leaders have already taken the lead with this new technology, as CSG reported earlier here.

Missouri's Amy Hestir Student Protection Act was blocked in court for being too broad.  The Act made it illegal for students and teachers to engage in private communications on Facebook, and it had the consequence of, in some cases, even preventing students who were the children of teachers from using social media to communicate with their parents.  Now Missouri is leaving social media policy to be set by school districts, allowing them to serve as laboratories for implementation. 

Missouri’s SB 54, the "Amy Hestir Student Protection Act," doesn’t go into effect until this coming Sunday, August 28, but the law’s student-teacher social media ban is already facing a legal petition from the Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA).  The law was intended to protect students from abuse by making it illegal for students and teachers to have private conversations on social media channels, but the MSTA’s petition raises several potential issues with the current scope of the law. 

The Atlantic has a great piece on how social media is changing the way governments interact with the public they serve.  The author explores some examples specifically of how social media is working for state government, including connecting the public with e-services and assisting with state elections.  Even the insights for federal and foreign governments could prove inspirational to innovative state leaders.  Check out "How Governments Deal with Social Media" here.

Senator Jane Cunnigham, representing Missouri's seventh district, sponosored SB 54, the "Amy Hestir Student Protection Act."  It was signed by Governor Nixon late last week.  The Act includes a variety of provisions intended to safteguard students against sexual abuse like that suffered by Amy Hestir, one of Missouri's former students.  What makes this bill unique is its requirement that students and teachers not become friends on social networks, such as Facebook.