After a college resource company created a legion of phony Class of 2013 Facebook groups--a scheme that could have harvested personal information from thousands of students--some higher-education officials say it might be time for colleges to step in and manage online social-networking sites for their campuses themselves.

"It was a wakeup call for many that social media is no longer a 'maybe' and that schools need to actively pursue a social media presence," said Brad J. Ward, coordinator for electronic communications at Butler University in Indianapolis and a blogger who first exposed the scheme Dec. 18, later dubbed "FacebookGate" in the


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