Print 12 comment(s) - last by superstition.. on Oct 18 at 3:42 PM

Teens still have the option to manually keep their posts and photos private or shared only with friends or friends of friends

A privacy feature that once kept teenagers from sharing Facebook photos or posts with the public has been lifted. 

According to Reuters, Facebook will now allow users under the age of 18 to share their Facebook posts with anyone they choose. In addition, teens can now use the "Follow" feature, which allows strangers to receive public posts from another user without the need to become "friends."

The company used to restrict minors to sharing photos/posts with friends or friends of friends only. But Facebook said that this prevents teens from spreading important information, like posts about fundraisers or if their band is playing a show. 

"Teens are among the savviest people using of social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard," said Facebook. "While only a small fraction of teens using Facebook might choose to post publicly, this update now gives them the choice to share more broadly, just like on other social media services."

Other social networks like Twitter allow minors to tweet to whoever they'd like. This puts pressure on Facebook  to do the same in order to further its business.

However, some argue that Facebook allows for greater sharing than others like Twitter or Instagram. 

Facebook will continue to enforce its private messaging restriction, where minors can only send and receive messages between friends and friends of friends. 

Facebook will also show a special notice to teens the first couple of times they post public information so that they're aware of who can see their information. 

It's hard to say how this will go over, but if history is any indication of the future, Facebook will likely see a lot of privacy groups on its case. But this time, ironically, it's for allowing users too much control over their own privacy.

Teens -- like anyone else on Facebook -- still have the option to manually keep their posts and photos private or shared only with friends or friends of friends. 

Just last month, Facebook caught the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) attention with its privacy policy changes, which included new features like "Tag Suggest," where facial recognition is used to match faces in photos with public profile features. Facebook has danced with the FTC many times before that regarding privacy as well. 

Source: Reuters

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By agnhd on 10/17/2013 4:51:45 PM , Rating: 5
With all the stories of cyber-bullying coming out in the news these past couple of days, you would think that facebook would have more sense then to allow such a feature.

This is, if they really care about the user public. They of course don't, and are using this as a ploy for advertisers to do more information gathering as they do not have to be your friend in order to tap into what you put out online. The entire charm of facebook was that you could communicate with just the people you wanted to and cancel out the rest. I officially boycott facebook from this point forward.


RE: Facebook
By daboom06 on 10/17/2013 5:20:58 PM , Rating: 4
you're absolutely right. it's the facebook's fault that parents are bad at their job. god forbid you have to sit down and talk to your kid about how the internet works... or how the world works...

RE: Facebook
By ClownPuncher on 10/17/2013 6:32:33 PM , Rating: 3
My kids are angels, I'll sue you for telling me how to raise them!

RE: Facebook
By Nortel on 10/17/2013 9:17:39 PM , Rating: 2
Every kid has a smartphone now and parent's aren't exactly installing 'net nanny' on these devices. Its oh too easy for a kid to be stupid with a smartphone, a camera and facebook.

RE: Facebook
By superstition on 10/18/2013 1:41:07 AM , Rating: 5
Because both parents don't have to work long hours to pay the bills. We're still living in the 1950s/60s where Dad would make enough to buy it all and still have enough left over to talk to Mr. Wilson and Abner Kravitz about the stocks.

Parents can be home at 2:45 so their kids are always fully monitored. They never have to rely on older teenagers, like babysitters and siblings. They never have to rely on technologically inept grandparents and other relatives.

RE: Facebook
By FITCamaro on 10/18/2013 7:40:06 AM , Rating: 2
Both my parents worked long hours to pay the bills and they still had time to teach me common sense.

At age 10 I was cooking for myself and my parents didn't get home until 5-6 and expected us kids to have dinner ready. Then there was the evenings that my mom didn't get off until 10, 11, 12, or even 1 am. And the time when my dad was working in DC every week for about 2 years.

Don't want to make the time for your kids? Don't have kids.

And yes when me and my fiance have kids, she is going to stay home and raise them and I'm going to work. We're also going to home school since I want my kids to actually, you know, learn.

RE: Facebook
By Camikazi on 10/18/2013 1:19:06 PM , Rating: 2
You watch way too much TV, life back then was still like life now, people worked long hours and didn't always have time to spend with the family. Hell even in those TV shows they had babysitters all the time so I'm not sure where you are going with that.

RE: Facebook
By superstition on 10/18/2013 3:42:22 PM , Rating: 3

"core expenses kept going up. .... To cope, millions of families put a second parent into the workforce. .... Even with two incomes, they were forced to tighten their belts.

Check out the graphs in that article... and these, too:

RE: Facebook
By ritualm on 10/17/2013 8:48:14 PM , Rating: 2
Heh, even with all of these new-fangled controls, most teens won't know how much they should disclose online.

We had a case a couple years back. A massive riot broke out in Vancouver where teens were flipping police cars and setting them on fire. Some netizens looked up the video footage and matched one of the unscrupulous teens to his Facebook profile. Turned out that guy was trying to be an athlete for the national Olympics team.

That guy's aspirations flatlined faster than he could say "I'm sorry" on public television.

Private social networks
By chrisp114 on 10/18/2013 9:46:39 AM , Rating: 2
Here are some social networks that offer privacy: Ravetree, EveryMe, SnapChat. Try them. Privacy matters.

RE: Private social networks
By Camikazi on 10/18/2013 1:20:57 PM , Rating: 2
SnapChat? You mean the same SnapChat that has admitted to giving unopened snaps to the police when asked? So much for privacy there and I'm sure the rest do similar or close to it.

RE: Private social networks
By EricMartello on 10/18/2013 1:58:53 PM , Rating: 2
Social network and privacy are mutually exclusive...crappy bottom-tier "networks" may afford you some privacy by virtue of them being unknown and unused - however you're still just as vulnerable there as you would be on facebook in terms of your information being publicly accessible.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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