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News Link • Education: Government Schools

School District Prepares to Track Students' Social Media Activity

•, Mikael Thalen

School officials in Washington County, Maryland announced this week that their students' social media accounts will be monitored once the new school year begins.

Using a software program known as Social Sentinel, specific faculty members will be alerted when keywords such as "bomb" and "kill" are detected.

"Critical information that can enhance your ability to identify risks, assess threats, and manage events is being shared ? publicly ? right now." the Social Sentinel site reads. "With the Social Sentinel service, K12 safety and security personnel can gather, assess, and manage information publicly available on social media sites to identify threats made against a person, a group of people, or a specific school or venue."

So far, the software is programmed to monitor social media sites such as Vimeo, Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram and Meetup.

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