Facebook – Advertising Revenue Vs Child Welfare

A thought from Facebook – Advertising Revenue Vs Child Welfare

Facebook over the last few days have decided to allow teens (13-17 years) to now share their posts publicly outside of their friendship groups, a change that has a lot of parents and child welfare groups up in arms.

The worry is that naive teens will post content which will come back to affect them at a later stage, be it from a bullying perspective or their content will get into the wrong hands online leading to higher risks of paedophiles/stalker behaviours.

As most of us are are aware, when younger, we weren’t as aware of the consequences that could happen from our actions. This is the new worry with Facebook. These young children are now more vulnerable to the negative effects of social media.

With Facebook facing stiffer competition from the likes of new social media competitors such as Snapchat and WhatsApp, they’re having to up their game but at whose expense?

As we all know, Facebook make a huge amount of money from the likes of incoming advertising revenue and giving teens extra reasons to stay online on their products means lots more potential for revenue. Their argument for this new update comes with 3 main points:

  1. They are saying that teens will get warning messages before posting to remind them of who will see their messages.

  2. They’re advising that these settings can be reversed if required – the problem with this being that most teens want to be heard and so, will not do this.

  3. Facebook are also trying to get around the agro by arguing that courageous teen activists such as Malala Yousafzai (the young teenager from Pakistan shot by the Taliban in October 2012) will now have a stronger voice online and can get their message further through the Facebook medium. One could question if this is a good thing after the Taliban have only very recently threatened this girl’s life once again with security control measures now being increased further around the teen.

With parents already worried over what world their children are entering when online especially with the unfortunate increase of teenage suicides online due to online bullying (most recently with the website Ask.fm) the question is will these recent privacy changes now force worried parents to insist on downloading extra parental control software to their home machines to enforce stricter management of teenage behaviour online? How will teens take this? Already, it is a well-known truth that households containing teens can at times have fraught atmospheres. With this extra battle for parents trying to keep their kids safe whilst letting them become an adult, there is high potential for even more arguments in the household over this. Let the battle commence!

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