Friday, May 14, 2010

Facebook Privacy and Teens

I'm reading: Facebook Privacy and TeensTweet this!

I don't spend a lot of time on Facebook (note to self: update and pimp out MomImpact fan page one of these days), so I'm not clear on the ins and outs of it, but I know enough that I don't want my 12 year-old on it.


Apparently, the fact that one must be 13 to have a page does not deter the 10-12 year-old set. As my boy tried to make his case for The Face', he showed me his many classmates on Facebook. I offer to friend them for him, but oddly, that did not suffice.

When he is 13, we can talk about him starting an account, but honestly, I'm increasingly freaked out by Facebook's openness and how easy it is to get important details from people. A year, maybe two years ago, I felt like some people's public profiles screamed, "Take my identity, please!" And that was back in the good old days.

Facebook has recently made sweeping changes in their privacy policy. It's not you they care about, it's the companies and brands that bring in the money (though some of those aren't too happy with recent changes to the system either). I also wonder how brands will react once critical masses of people have stripped down their profiles.

What doe these changes entail and what do they mean?
I'll leave it to the reporters at the New York Times to fill you in on the bewildering tangle of privacy options. Read this, because you know what? The new default settings on Facebook make your personal information public.

I hear a lot of my online friends, uber social media types talking about backing away from Facebook. What about you? And what sort of Facebook policies do you have for your kids? Have you walked them through or checked their privacy controls lately?

8 comments:

Drew @ Cook Like Your Grandmother said...

For me, Facebook is purely a way to pimp my blog and my books. I don't put anything personal there.

Actually, I don't put too much personal info on any site. Putting personal details online is like tearing open a feather pillow from the top of a tall building. You're never going to get all the feathers stuffed back in.

Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen) said...

I actually received a friend request from a 10 year old neighbor the other day. I'm not even friends with his parents!

For a long time, my personal facebook page has been kept small and private. I like to have a place to vent about my child being sick or where I'm going for the weekend without worrying about who sees it. But with the new de-privatization, I am starting to question where facebook is even safe for that kind of sharing.

krissy @ Life Of An Artsy Mom said...

It is very true. There are so many kids under 13 on Facebook, and as "private" as they want to say it is, nothing is ever private on the internet. I really think that kids feel too secure.

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Melisa with one S said...

I am friends w/ both of my kids and instruct them that the rule (one which I follow as well!) is, don't put anything on FB that you wouldn't want Grandma to see or read. They are 15 and nearly 18, and we've had many, many conversations about online behavior and safety, but even still I have to reinforce, especially with my younger one.

drlori71 said...

My older son is almost 8. I'm hoping that by the time he's old enough to want to join Facebook, there won't be a Facebook for him to join. Of course, if Facebook goes away, there will be something in its place.
(Do kids really call it "The Face"?)

Condo Blues said...

I'm totally freaked that some of my friends kids friended me on Facebook. I think that has more to do with realizing that these kids are now teenagers or in college and my friends and I are getting old :)

I am a bit freaked about the not so privacy settings. I originally joined Facebook to catch up with old acting friends and have my settings as friends only. I got a lovely surprise in my email today when one of my social media alerts was an old before the change Facebook update.

Jeanne Bernish said...

Came across a great bookmarklet today which addresses this very topic and I immediately tried it out: http://www.reclaimprivacy.org/facebook

I think it may prove to be a good tool for quickly checking if any privacy setting "leaks" have popped up.

Kim Moldofsky said...

LOL, Jeanne. I just posted that link over on Facebook. It's a helpful tool.