FIRE Uses Facebook to Target Worst College Offenders

By September 17, 2008

Last week, FIRE launched our first Facebook ad campaign targeting a school on FIRE’s Red Alert list, Brandeis University. We began placing ads on the Facebook pages of Brandeis students and alumni, alerting them to the unfortunate case of Professor Donald Hindley, who was found guilty of racial harassment after he critiqued the use of the word "wetbacks" in his Latin American Politics course.

In only one week, the advertisement has been featured on over 121,000 Facebook pages. As we mentioned a few weeks ago, while many students and faculty have stepped up to the plate and defended Professor Hindley’s rights, we would like to see a stronger response from Brandeis alumni. This new instrument for reaching alumni is allowing FIRE to spread the word efficiently to those who are likely to be the most concerned about our most egregious cases.

We often write at the end of our letters to university presidents, "While we hope this situation can be resolved amicably and swiftly, we are committed to using all of our resources to see this situation through to a just and moral conclusion." Last month’s U.S. News & World Report advertisement, targeted Facebook campaigns, and the expansion of our widgets program are just the latest additions to FIRE’s arsenal. They represent FIRE’s continued commitment to pursuing justice in our cases across the country.

These efforts are in line with Justice Brandeis’s axiom that sunlight is one of the best disinfectants. As our ten-year anniversary nears, we are mindful of the substantial contributions of FIRE’s supporters, who so often rise to the occasion and contact college administrators to demand justice in case after case.

Schools: Brandeis University