Harvard Law has announced a new non-attribution policy that restricts social media posts about classroom discussions.
The new policy, the HLS Community Principle on Non-Attribution, prohibits publicly sharing in-class statements that would identify the speaker to anyone not present for the original discussion, the Harvard Crimson reports.
PROTECT FROM BULLYING
Modeled after the Chatham House Rule, the HLS Community Principle aims to protect students from potential bullying or harassment for their expressed opinions.
By instituting the new policy, HLS is hoping to provide a safe environment for students to comfortably express their beliefs and ideas.
“Everybody is learning, everybody has to think and respond within fast-moving discussions, and everybody will make mistakes as part of the law school learning process,” the policy reads. “In training to be the best lawyers they can be, students must be able to try arguments on for size, change their minds, and take risks.”
The policy highlights the potential danger behind social media and stresses that statements can oftentimes be taken out of context making students cautious of participating in classroom discussions.
“Because of the potential permanence and widespread dissemination of communications through social media and other forms of communication designed to reach members of the public, if statements made in class are quoted or described with attribution in those media, students may be reluctant to approach any question, particularly controversial ones, with the openness and vulnerability they need to grow as lawyers and to learn from one another,” it reads.