Why Is Facebook Putting Teens at Risk?
By Evan Selinger & Woodrow Hartzog Oct 24, 2013 5:31 PM GMT+0200 Bloomberg
When Facebook Inc. recently lifted its restriction on public posts by teenagers, some privacy scholars applauded the move as a win for parents -- offering them a chance to teach their children about digital accountability. They may be overstating the case, however. If information and communication technologies aren’t designed to help users -- especially younger ones -- guard their information, appeals to good judgment and discipline won’t go very far.
To understand the dynamics of Internet privacy, parents need to appreciate what Facebook had previously done to shield its young users. Before the most recent change, the social-media site did a decent job of protecting privacy through obscurity, especially for teenagers. Under its former policy, younger users could communicate only within their extended network. Their biggest privacy concern was whether one of their “friends” or a “friend of friend” would release their information to an unintended audience.
Now that Facebook (FB) has changed its policy, teens have access to a broader, more public audience. Even if today’s children are more Internet-savvy than their parents, they still need to be taught to avoid oversharing, and parents are placed in the unenviable position of guiding teens without seeming too controlling.
Technological advances have made it easier to analyze large data sets and identify patterns, and this makes Facebook especially dangerous when filled with accessible, “public” information. Facebook is designed to collect and hoard massive amounts of personal data, and its search engine, Graph, allows users to filter through a trove of information, including “status updates, photo captions, check-ins and comments.” Of course, other social-media services can be a liability, too. Public Twitter posts can be easily found on Goo
its doing everything it can too atract attention and eyeballs to its ads.. nice trick for the media to stir up stories and attention
Better question is why are your CONGRESSPEOPLE doing nothing to stop them?
That's funny. Historically, the teens most at risk are those in close proximity to elected officials. Interns, pages, low-level employees, servers...all bed-bait for the power-mongers. But yeah, go ahead and rely on them to protect YOUR kids.
FB is dealing with the reality that users can lie about their age, so an age-based restriction is essentially meaningless. Even so, FB is not "putting" anyone at risk. The risk occurs when an individual chooses to put his/her information online. Parents need to monitor and control their children. If you don't think that is realistic, why would you think a computerized bulletin board is any more capable of policing the children? It also so happens that FB is implementing more useful and monetizing features based on Graph Search. If you have a vast number of potentially lucrative users walled off by a meaningless policy, you limit the value of Graph Search.