Yes, teenagers use Facebook. And although whether or not they’ll be using Facebook in a few years remains to be seen, the site does have a considerable presence among high-school students. The Pew Research Center recently examined how teens use social media, finding that they don’t like drama and having their parents connected to them, but they stay on Facebook because it plays a key part in the social experience. However, Facebook’s youngest users tend to have no problem configuring privacy settings.
A new rumor has been sweeping Facebook — that people are stealing photos of your children and posting them to a page called “Infancy.” The status that I saw, which had been shared 600 times back then and more than 3,500 times at the time of writing, claimed that “loads of local kids” were shown, including the author’s own, and demanded the removal of the page. But here’s the deal — the page was automatically generated by Facebook, like this one about rock climbing or this one about food. In fact, above the photographs, it even said “photos of my friends and infancy.”
Facebook continues to look out for its users who are part of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community, using a post on its Facebook Safety page to promote “What LGBT Communities Should Know About Online Safety,” a tip sheet from the LGBT Technology Partnership, Stop Think Connect, and the National Cyber Security Alliance.
Facebook-owned photo-sharing network Instagram is under fire from advocates for children’s safety, with more than 4,500 signatures having been collected on a petition on Change.org that calls for Instagram to make the default settings private for users aged 13 through 17, and not geotag- and geolocation-enabled.
McAfee Internet Security Expert Robert Siciliano shared his list of 10 mistakes graduates should avoid on social networks in a post on McAfee blog, pointing out that the security company’s Love, Relationships, and Technology study found that 13.7 percent of respondents aged 18 through 24 knew someone who lost their job due to images or messaged that were publicly posted.
As Graph Search starts to roll out to more users (it’s still in limited beta, with no date set for global rollout), people may be worried about how it affects their privacy. Marketo recently published an infographic, showing how users can update their profile information to ensure that nothing is compromised within Graph Search.
Privacy changes usually draw the ire of Facebook users, and it’s something that the site is hoping to change through better education and clearer directions. According to a recent infographic from Webpage FX, 61 percent of people surveyed said they didn’t trust Facebook, and 13 million people have said that they have never set or known about their privacy settings.
One of the chief complaints among Facebook users is that the changes to privacy controls have been far too confusing, with little effort in educating the users. Facebook’s No. 2 official — Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg — agrees. She admitted during a launch party in London for her book, Lean In, that one of the key mistakes the company has made was not explaining privacy controls better.
When Facebook announced last December that it would roll out new privacy options for users, the social network also said it would change the permissions process for applications, requiring them to break down information they were seeking access to in multiple screens, rather than bunching all of the information together in one permissions screen. Now different renditions of this are being tested.
Facebook officially confirmed that it will roll out the addition of emoticons and actions in status updates, which many users already have access to, saying that U.S. users will get the new feature “in the coming weeks.”