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Professors fear lectures will be shared with “right wing sites” as more classes go online due to coronavirus

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As more lectures go online because of the coronavirus pandemic, some professors are worried that what they’re teaching could be exposed to “right wing sites” and are discussing ways to limit the distribution of what they teach online.

These discussions started when Texas Christian University Associate Professor of Political Science Emily Farris tweeted: “If you are recording a lecture on anything controversial, be prepared for right wing sites to ask students to share it.”

Dr. Rachel Michelle Gunter, a Professor of History at a community college in North Texas, responded by tweeting that she’s “taking steps to limit this but nothing is foolproof.”

In a follow-up tweet, Gunter added: “Instead of posting videos direct to LMS [Learning Management System] (which would then own them) I’m posting links to the videos on youtube. The videos themselves are “unlisted” meaning you can’t find them in a search or if you go to my page-only if you have the direct link. Doesn’t stop link sharing though.”

Columbia University Political Science Professor Jeffrey Lax also replied to Gunter’s tweet and added that he’d been “thinking about” his lectures being shared and wrote, “even if not recording, can’t student’s record?”

Farris, Gunter, and Lax didn’t share which lecture topics they were trying to prevent from being shared online but some of the other replies on Twitter pointed to lectures on “elections,” “gun safety,” “politicization of immigration,” “women’s health,” and “white nationalism.”

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