Aaron Barlow of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) argues that social media has been the undoing of pedagogues in America. He may be right but not in the way he thinks.
“Social media has made it possible for attacks on professors to be much more damaging than they were a decade ago, for institutions and their overseers have become incredibly sensitive, one might even say paranoid, when it comes to online attacks,” he writes on the academe blog maintained by the AAUP. Actually, what has happened is that professors have been tweeting their brains out and millions of Twitter users have been getting to experience what thus far had only been shared with their students and colleagues.
The backlash from these tweets then sent the front offices of their universities into a panic from the resulting backlash of people who objected to their pronouncements. The conservative bloggers that concern Barlow and his peers were way down the food chain on this phenomenon.
About a half a dozen examples come to mind:
~”Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher, who tweeted last Christmas Eve (in 2016) that all he wanted for Christmas was a ‘white genocide,’ has officially resigned from his university position,” we reported early this year.
~Ronda Jarrar got off a bit easier. “The faculty feminist at Fresno State who took the occasion of the death of the beloved former first lady to trash her in tweets—Randa Jarrar–will, as she predicted, keep her job,” I reported in May.
~”James Livingston, the white Rutgers historian who obscenely tweeted about how much he hates white people, has been found in violation of school policy by the university,” I reported in August.
~“Gregg Gonsalves, an assistant professor of Epidemiology and associate professor of law at Yale, has written numerous social media posts blasting the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) and supporting illegal immigration,” Grace Gottschling reported on Campus Reform on July 20.
~“Austin Community College professor Robert Ranco resigned from a position he held at a law firm after tweeting this remark: ‘I’m not wishing for it … but I’d be ok if #BetsyDeVos was sexually assaulted,’ the professor said in a since-deleted tweet,” Rob Shimshock reported in The Daily Caller on July 7.