Facebook policy enables public posting for teens


Photo courtesy Facebook Press Release

Facebook’s new policy allows teens to change the privacy setting to public directly from the status bar. This change was put into effect Oct. 16.

Starting Oct. 16, Facebook changed its policy for 13-17 year old users that enables a post to be viewed publicly.

According to a press release from the Facebook Newsroom, a previous account setting mandated that only Facebook friends or friends of friends could see posts. This could only be changed through the account’s settings. Now, teens have the option to make a post public right from the status bar.

“[The change] could allow teens to get harrassed,” junior Annalee Gabler said.

When a teen decides to make a post public, Facebook displays two warnings to confirm that the user knows the post is a public post.

“I’m personally not going to use it, but I’m sure there are people out there who will,” freshman William Molali said.

In addition to making public posts, teens are now able to allow other users to follow their feed without a friend request.

“These changes are designed to improve the experience for teens on Facebook,” the press release said.

According to the press release, they are also looking at ways to improve the way teens message and connect with people.

Dean of Students Brian Powell doesn’t agree with this change.

“We’re trying to teach the student body that whether it’s private or not, what you post is open and public. It’s dangerous if you think what you post is only viewed by your network,” Powell said.

“Colleges and jobs check the internet presence of potential applicants and the things that are posted have as much of an influence as the interview does,” Powell said.

According to Powell, “it’s a problem your generation has to deal with.”

Angela DeCarlo is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com