Facebook Changes Default Privacy Settings for Users 13 – 17 So What?

Facebook Changes Default Privacy Settings

With all the cyber bullying we’ve been hearing about on the news – we have to wonder if this change is coming along a bit too late?  Or, is it a band-aid to patch a broken limb?  Facebook announced today teen accounts (ages 13 – 17) will default to the “friends” setting; the previous default was “friends of friends”.  Going forward they will be able to make changes back to “friends of friends” or “public”  but will be notified of the status of the post setting, reminding the teens the post is indeed public and will be seen by more than just their friends.



If they choose to share the post publicly – they will see the post again.  O.K. – so Facebook becomes a nagging parent.  Do you think it will deter the teen from posting publicly or do you think it will entice the teen to get creative with their account?  Perhaps change their age?  Facebook does allow you to change your age (albeit a limited number of times).  I know if I were a rebellious teen – what I would do.

Will changing the default privacy settings on Facebook help protect teens from child trafficking? Pedophiles? Rapists? More importantly, other teens? Probably not.  Facebook even admits:

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. 

As a parent, I have concerns and have to wonder why a 13 year old should even have a Facebook profile.  It was just yesterday (October 15) a 12 year old girl killed herself  because her ex-best friend (a 14 year old girl) and another 12 year old girl were arrested for cyber bullying.  How is Facebook’s change to the default privacy setting going to affect instances like this?

What do you think about Facebook’s changes to their default privacy settings for users 13 – 17?  Is it enough? I would love your opinion.

7 Replies to “Facebook Changes Default Privacy Settings for Users 13 – 17 So What?”

  1. Like teens are really going to pay attention to a warning that their post is public. It could be flashing in neon colors, and they might notice it for a day or two, but then it becomes part of the landscape. I don’t envy parents today …

    1. You are so right – some kids are going to do what they want regardless of warning signs, or how many times their parents tell them not to do something. Some do it BECAUSE there’s a warning sign. What do you do?

  2. I think it is a smart move. It is up to the parents if they are going to allow their teen on facebook. I personally think that 12 is too young to be on facebook, but not all parents are involved and discipline their children. I think that facebook can only do so much and this is a good move. We can only hope it will spin some wheels and get people thinking about protecting themselves and their children.

  3. You are correct Heather – many children are responsible and mature enough to handle the responsibility of social media – while many others are not. It is ultimately the responsibility of the parent to monitor the children's activity.

  4. The role of the parent has become infinitely more complicated with the advent of technology. So many more pitfalls … with consequences it's difficult to explain because they relate to things they haven't experienced yet … like job hunting.

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