back to article Facebook TEENS EXPOSED to entire WORLD

Facebook has once again tweaked its privacy settings, so if your teenagers use the social network, it could be time for you to sit them down for a little talk. From Wednesday, Facebook users aged 13 to 17 will have the option to set the audience of their posts to "Public," meaning anyone can see them. That's something they …


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  1. Old Handle

    I can't find much fault with Facebook on this one (for a change) since it's strictly opt-in, it does raise some interesting questions. Presumably dropping this kind of restriction will reduce the motivation to sign up using a false age (except for preteens, of course). A case could be made that this improves safety compared to having lots of teens on there under the radar. But on the other hand, if there really are "nameless pervs stalking kids" on Facebook, maybe having them all pretend to be adults was the best protection.

    1. dan1980

      Hang on . . .

      Agree - I think this is pretty much a good move. There are plenty of open forums for teenagers to post whatever they want and, as you say, they can always use a false age if they are so inclined.

      Nice one guys.

      Are teen accounts subject to the recent changes that allows all accounts to be found via a search? If not then perhaps the solution is to turn common practice on its head and adults can pretend to be underage!

    2. Khaptain

      Matthew 19:14 or thereabouts

      El Reg Version

      But Mark( El Zuck) said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of Facebook

  2. Katie Saucey

    "Teens are among the savviest people using social media, ....."

    Should read:

    "Teens are among the stupidest people using social media,...."

    Every other day I see a new alarmist piece warning of the incoming tide of "cyber-bullying" and the resultant teen suicides. This will help for sure.

    1. Piro Silver badge

      They don't understand the basics of the greater internet fuckwad theory.

      They shouldn't ask strangers for approval without expecting to get an avalanche of people criticising you for anything, even just being an attention whore. Of course people are going to be unkind. But as long as they don't know them in real life, am I missing something, or could they just delete their accounts/turn off their computer?

      1. Doctor Evil

        Well now, there you go, saying something inflammatory about the Interwebs just to draw attention to yourself, Piro, you karma-whoring publicity hound!

        1. solidsoup


          I see Dr. Evil got 2 downvotes. I find the increasing tendency of fellow commentards to miss obvious sarcasm. ... simply awesome. I think everyone should do it more and completely ignore any intended irony or sarcasm, so that El Reg comments become like most other Internet forums. Wouldn't that be grand?

          Carry on. Mine's with a giant sign in the pocket.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Exactly my thoughts, if you can't handle the internet, don't go on the internet..

      Parents need to discuss things with their kids, get them to realise that if someone is bullying you, they need to stand up and most importantly to tell their parents if it happens!

      Parents also need to support their kids if they do defend themselves!

      1. Stevie

        Parents need to discuss things with their kids

        No kids of your own, right?

    3. W.O.Frobozz

      I agree. Having two female teens in the house addicted to "selfies," Stupidgram and Friendface and lacking an ounce of common sense on what's appropriate to put online, I would agree. "Savvy" they are not. Utterly unconcerned for consequences even when shown what has happened to others their age on the other hand....

  3. @bloggerna

    That's not the point though. The point is making it more difficult for criminals to create a list of teens on Facebook. Teens can make fake profiles all the want, with whacky names and DOBs, no one is stopping them. But that does stop pedobear from Liking them.

  4. LDS Silver badge

    It looks Facebook is struggling to get attention and "monetize" users...

    ... and that means it's well past its peak. Now it's on the obsolensce road, and in a couple of years it will be bankrupt.

    And this move is very silly - it will just worry competent parents who allowed their children to open a profile with the correct data and thought there was at least minimal protection. This way they will just fear more about their children using Facebook - sure, there are other silly sites, maybe being a little less silly could help - or not?

  5. Simon Jones [MSDL]

    If you would not be happy pinning the information, with your photo, name, and address, to a tree in your local high street, you should not be putting it on Facebook!

  6. Vociferous

    Well I guess it's all right... long as they're nude.

  7. John Sturdy
    Black Helicopters

    This won't make any difference to their chances of getting a job with NSA later, of course.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stand by for the Daily Mail to start another campaign to censor the internet because of this.

    1. monkeyfish

      I vote we sensor all of it. Every page should redirect to an image of a single fluffy kitten. Wouldn't the world be a nicer place?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        no, see below

        no, see above.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >an image of a single fluffy kitten

        You mean, a hairy young pussy?

  9. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Whilst slightly off topic...

    FB does have a couple of good points... "Rack of the day" for example - actually contains many a nice point.

    1. asdf

      Re: Whilst slightly off topic...

      Hmm you must be an American because a majority of European newspapers have a rack of the day on page 2. Or maybe the Euros have gone all digital now too.

      1. asdf

        Re: Whilst slightly off topic...

        Sorry shouldn't say a majority but a sizeable number. Yes they are usually the more trashy tabloid ones (and lol usually owned by Murdoch) but I did see them in nearly every country I worked in/visited over there.

  10. btrower

    Zuck: Time to reign in

    Facebook has a terrible dilemma. Doing things that increase the number of group-group connections increases the value of the network radically. To some extent, if they don't stay on top of this by widening their reach, they become vulnerable to being overtaken by another network.

    I have a notion that they are in a position to cool it a bit, by at least offering proper privacy options and guarantees that they will do their best to make sure that there is no gratuitous data leakage. What they would lose in terms of gaining new weak connections they could make up by strengthening existing connections.

    Meantime, I am astonished that monetization has been so clumsy. The big win for Facebook is that it has a ton of real data about its users both in terms of demographics and in terms of observed behavior. What it should be doing now is creating targeted content to further refine their knowledge of users and creating purchasing opportunities that make sense. They should buy or partner with some companies that produce some best of breed products that people buy already and use this to research how to *predict* when people will want to buy.

    If you knew enough, you would present stuff for purchase when people want to buy it and not present it otherwise. You would also present for purchase things that have a good probability of gaining customer satisfaction to support the development of trust.

    If facebook could make it so you have ready access to purchasing power and present things you want at the time you wish to buy, it would generate enormous sales.

    I am no fan of Amazon, but I buy things there from time to time because it is easy and I can generally trust them to sell something at a fair price and deliver it quickly in good condition. A few things I have bought there because it was not easily available anywhere else that I could trust.

    1. Stevie

      I am no fan of Amazon

      I *am* a fan of Amazon , but even after a two year plus relationship their targeted ads suck balls and represent nothing I'm interested in buying because (draws deep breath):


      Azathoth on a bike, I knew this in the 1970s. It is so monumentally depressing to have to wait in the expectation of some "new" whitepaper citing "cutting edge" research stating that to the general open mouthed admiration of the New Kids On The Block.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        "You've just bought a satnav."

        "Here are some satnavs you might be interested in!"

        Erm, no. I only just bought one, right? If I wanted another I'd have got two!

        1. Mike H.

          Re: "You've just bought a satnav."

          How true that is :)

          1. monkeyfish

            Re: "You've just bought a satnav."

            The same goes for Christmas... What I buy in December does not reflect what I want to buy at any other time. Try serving me with reminders of last December next December, I might even buy the latest series of whatever I got someone last time.

            Try looking in the 'saved for later' part of my basket for what I actually want to buy now.

  11. asdf


    I sure hope Facebook is dead and gone by the time my 2 year old is old enough to care. Sure hope I get to dodge that bullet.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If a teen posts a nude picture and shares it publicly, would Facebook then be responsible for distribution of child pornography?

    1. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


      "If a teen posts a nude picture and shares it publicly, would Facebook then be responsible for distribution of child pornography?"

      I was going to say "Of course not, service providers are not responsible for the activities of their users." In the US at least (where Facebook is based), a service provider is expected to have a contact they can be reached at to request things be removed, but are not responsible for content, the users are.

      **BUT**, Facebook censors their posts. A friend of a friend was going to post some photos where he was firing off his gat doing some target practice, and they never showed up. When a site filters or censors their posts, this shifts responsibility, as Facebook end up ultimately deciding what is and what is not on the site rather than the users. Of course this very filtering means the nude photos used as an example would simply never show up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Liability

        If they are censoring, how do they avoid internal distribution to the censors?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Liability

        > firing off his gat

        Wow what are you a wigger from 1997?

      3. Caesarius

        Re: Liability

        If Facebook claim ownership for anything users post, surely they are liable?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    the teens I know all lie about their age to register on facebook in the first place.

  14. PaulR79

    "According to Facebook's press release, the changes are being made to made to keep Facebook competitive in the social media market, a widening field that now includes not just traditional websites but also mobile competitors such as WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger."

    Ah good. I'm glad to see it isn't a frivalous reason.

  15. Soap Distant

    It's horrible!

    Facebook is horrible! Even the name of it suggests that it was named by a remote primitive tribe with a limited command of English.

    My nephew (in a less savvy moment) decided to invite a small group of friends to a party via FB conversation. Within minutes news had leaked and many many more folk he didn't even know had joined and added yet more folk to the conversation. There was no obvious way to control this or evict those that weren't invited by the originator. He had no control over it and at a glance nor did I (although I wasn't really trying, rather thinking a valuable lesson was being learned by said nephew.) The party was cancelled. Nephew is >16 btw.

    So, given that a fairly tech savvy (but not on this occasion) kid can get tripped up so easily... what's the outlook for younger kids? I know parents should look out for 'em but it can be a tricky ask when they're teenagers, they might sometimes be influenced by peers and even use other wi-fi access.

    I wouldn't touch FB with your shitty stick, let alone my own. I can't think of an analog to it when I was growing up - apart from having my teenage diary posted on billboards around my home town and a small demon with a tape recorder on my shoulder making sure nothing I said was forgettable by storing the tapes at the local library for all to borrow. Ick!

    I know some folk find it useful for keeping in touch, sharing photos, etc. if it works for you, fill yer boots I say! :)


  16. ecofeco Silver badge

    Does anyone know?

    Aren't there laws on both sides of the pond that expressly protect the privacy of minors/underaged and if so, isn't this a major violation?

    (sorry, to tired to look it myself right now)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Sensor the internet" ... "Reign in"

    Do you guys have to keep posting at a certain rate in order to maintain your gold badges? I wonder because you'd do well to wait 2 miniutes before posting and then re-read for typos.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Maharg

    “and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard,”

    Bollocks this is about advertising revenue and marketing and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

    1. cs94njw

      I was thinking the same thing. I wonder if advertising companies can only access public posts, and so can't tailor adds properly without it.

      <cynic>First it'll be opt-in, then it'll be... well, to keep up to date with OneDirection you'll need to opt-in...</cynic>

  20. chrisp1141

    Social Networks that offer privacy

    Here is a list of social networking sites that offer privacy:

    Ravetree (new, and my favorite)

    EveryMe (good privacy, minimal features)

    SnapChat (most popular, mobile)

  21. The Alpha Klutz

    when it comes to civic engagement, activism...

    in America? Not outside the free speech zones, buddy!

  22. MrSmallPerson

    Hello there

    Child... this is Cyberperv

    Cyberperv... meet Child

    K Imma go do some click fraud, ahem increase advertising revenue, don't anyone get taken advantage of by anyone.

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