reply to discussion

Write a 150 word reply to the following.

“Ratemyprofessors.com is a user-generated website used across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Users can rate professors, colleges, and universities. Their about page claims that the website is used for college students to figure out which professors are highly rated and which ones to avoid, something all students do anyway with their friends, classmates, relatives. Ratemyprofessors.com is owned by MTVu, which is a subsidiary of Viacom International Inc. (Viacom International Inc., 2018).

I believe the site started out as a legitimate source for students to learn about others’ experiences with professors before committing to a class taught by that professor. It can be a useful tool, if used correctly. Similar to restaurant review websites like Yelp, it’s important to keep in mind that people have different viewpoints that can affect their ratings. Learning styles, study habits, personalities can make one person rate a professor high, while another student might rate them low.

While rating professors is its outward goal I believe that its current main purpose is to generate revenue for Viacom International Inc. I researched St. Petersburg College to see how the site works, and noticed at least 5 advertisements, including a pop up and a large “sponsored stories” section with 8 more advertisements at the bottom of the page. Earning ad revenue is not necessarily a bad thing, it can still be useful for students who find the ratings valuable.

I believe the website is protected under the First Amendment because the content is created by students who are sharing their opinions. The Terms and Conditions of the website state that any content found to be libelous, defamatory, hateful, discriminatory, or abusive is prohibited (Viacom International Inc., 2018). It also states that Viacom is not responsible for the postings created by individuals, and that they will remove any posting they determine violates those terms (Viacom International Inc., 2018).

I don’t believe the site is ADA compliant. According to Title II of the ADA, websites should provide text equivalents to images, the ability to change font colors and settings, include audio descriptions among other requirements (ADA.GOV, 2007). I was not able to find these requirements on RateMyProfessors.com.”

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