Facebook Changes Policy So Teens Can Now Share Posts Publicly

Facebook has announced that it is changing its privacy options so that teens ages 13 through 17 can choose whether or not to post publicly on the site, a reversal of the company's previous policy. Teens also will now be able to turn on "Follow" so that their public posts can be seen in people’s News Feeds.

From Facebook:

Teens are among the savviest people using social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard.

So, starting today, people aged 13 through 17 will also have the choice to post publicly on 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.

In addition, teens will be able to turn on Follow so that their public posts can be seen in people’s News Feeds. As always, followers can only see posts they are in the audience for.

Another Facebook Policy Change

Up until today, for people aged 13 through 17, the initial audience of their first post on Facebook was set to “Friends of Friends” – with the option to change it.

Going forward, when people aged 13 through 17 sign up for an account on Facebook, the initial audience of their first post will be set to a narrower audience of “Friends.”

Read the Complete Facebook Announcement (Includes Screenshots)

See Also: Facebook tries to win back teens by letting them post publicly (via LA Times)

Privacy watchdogs warned Wednesday that Facebook still isn’t doing enough to protect young users. Privacy groups recently sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking it to examine the data Facebook collects on teens.

Jeffrey Chester, executive director for the Center for Digital Democracy, called on the FTC to step in and protect teen privacy on Facebook.

See Also: California Kids Get Social Media ‘Eraser’—But It Might not Work (October 10, 2013)

See Also: Californian Law Gives Teens Right to Delete Web Posts (September 24, 2013)

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