2013 10 17 NYT Daily Report: Facebook Shifts Its Rules on Privacy for Teenagers – NYTimes.com
Daily Report: Facebook Shifts Its Rules on Privacy for Teenagers
Facebook has loosened its privacy rules for teenagers as a rising debate swirls over online threats to children from online bullies and sexual predators, Vindu Goel reports.
The move, announced on Wednesday, allows teenagers to post status updates, videos and images that can be seen by anyone, not just their friends or people who know their friends.
While Facebook described the change as giving teenagers more choice, big money is at stake for the social network and its advertisers. Marketers are keen to reach impressionable young consumers, and the more public information they have about those users, the better they are able to target their pitches.
“It’s all about monetization and being where the public dialogue is,” said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a group that lobbies against marketing to children. “To the extent that Facebook encourages people to put to put everything out there, it’s incredibly attractive to Facebook’s advertisers.”
But that interaction with advertisers now includes youths who are growing up in a world of social media and, often, learning the hard way that it can be full of risks. Parents, too, are trying to help their children navigate the raucous online world that holds both promise and risk.
“They’re hitting kids from a neurological weak spot. Kids don’t have the same kind of impulse control that adults do,” said Emily Bazelon, a journalist and author of the book “Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy.”