This week Facebook changed its privacy settings to allow users ages 13-17 to post publically. Now when a child posts something, there is no warning that the information is going to be seen by a wide audience. Also, the previous setting which allowed only a specific amount of content post by 13-to-17-year-olds to be searchable by the general public has been removed.
Facebook seems to ignore such warning and claim that these underage users are well versed in the “norms” of the internet and will now be able to participate with a larger audience on such matters as “civic engagement or activism” .
While it is true that many teens feel a disconnection from politics which is a “reflection of their perceptions of disempowerment”, I call shenanigans on Facebook.
Everyone knows that old-grandpa Facebook is losing users to its much cooler and hipper counterparts, Twitter and Tumblr who don’t even ask users to state their ages.
The executives at Facebook claim that their main motivation in making this switch is to help users share their ideas with the world, yet I wonder if many of these people have ever seen a teenager’s Facebook page. Surprise – it’s covered with more suggestive selfies and less educated discourse on the state of global affairs.
yeah, this kid is talking about the finer points of the government shut down right now on his facebook.
While teens might be “among the savviest people using social media”, they may not have the best judgment. With this change in Facebook’s policy, their writing would be more open to the public, and therefore have more far reaching consequences than they could ever imagine.
It may be the old-lady in me, but giving children boundaries is almost always a good thing. However Facebook chooses to inject some “cool” into its dying format, it might be too little, too late.