What Facebook wants parents to know about its website

Just as parents teach and remind kids how to cross the road safely, Facebook believes talking about Internet safety should be just as important a lesson to learn

The following information was provided by Facebook:

Facebook is currently designed for two age groups (13-18 year olds and 18 and up), and we provide extensive safety and privacy controls based on the age provided. However, recent reports have highlighted just how difficult it is to implement age restrictions on the Internet and that there is no single solution to ensuring younger children don't circumvent a system or lie about their age. We believe that education is critical to ensuring that people of all ages use the Internet safely and responsibly. We agree with safety experts that communication between parents or guardians and kids about their use of the Internet is vital. We believe that services such as Facebook have a role to play in encouraging this. Our recent announcements around social reporting and our Family Safety Center are testimonies to our ongoing efforts to ensure we are giving detailed and helpful advice to help support these conversations. Just as parents are always teaching and reminding kids how to cross the road safely, talking about Internet safety should be just as important a lesson to learn.

Social Reporting

Social Reporting is a feature of the reporting tool that helps you resolve issues with posts, profiles or other content on the site. If you are reporting content you don't like, but that doesn't violate the Facebook Terms, we make it easy for you to communicate with the person who posted it. For example, if you are reporting a photo of yourself, you can easily send the person who posted it a message letting them know you don't like it. In most cases, they will take the photo down if you ask.

In cases of bullying or harassment, where you don't feel comfortable reaching out to the person directly, you can use social reporting to get help from a parent, teacher or trusted friend. You can share that piece of content and a message about the situation with someone you trust. You also have the option to block the person who posted the content and report it to Facebook so we can take action, if appropriate.

When a child is bullied online there is a digital record of the harassment. Before removing any harassing posts, children and parents should print them out or save them as PDF files on their computer.

Tips for Parents:

Start a conversation with your teen:

1. Do you feel like you can tell me if you ever have a problem at school or online?

2. Help me understand why Facebook is important to you.

3. Can you help me set up a Facebook profile?

4. Who are your friends on Facebook?

5. I want to be your friend on Facebook. Would that be OK with you? What would make it OK?

To learn more about Facebook's most recent safety features, including Social Reporting and the Family Safety Center, visit the Facebook Safety Page

Special section: Bullying: Words Can Kill

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