Previously, the posts of users aged 13 to 17 were set by default to Friends of Friends, though the user could change this to Friends only. The social network has now made the teen default just Friends.
At the same time, Facebook began allowing teens to share posts publicly. As teens move to other services including Twitter, where they can broadcast publicly, Facebook aims to keep them on the network.
“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,” the company said. “While only a small fraction of teens using Facebook might choose to post publicly, this update now gives them the choice to share more broadly, just like on other social media services.”
Just as with the recent update to adults' privacy settings, teens who choose to share a post publicly will see a pop-up warning them that the post they're about to share will be visible to everyone. Teens, however, will get a second warning if they choose to post publicly.
“In addition, teens will be able to turn on Follow so that their public posts can be seen in people’s News Feeds," the company said. "As always, followers can only see posts they are in the audience for."
Privacy advocates oppose the change, arguing that kids can post damaging material to Facebook before they've had time to consider it more carefully, despite the pop-up warning. But as the future adult users of social networks, Facebook doesn't want outspoken teens to leave for rival services.
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