Default privacy settings for new teens’ Facebook accounts set at friends-only, adds public option

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By Justin Lafferty Comments

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Facebook announced Wednesday that it is changing up privacy settings for teens who join the site. For new teenagers, the default privacy setting for posts will be friends (for adult users, it will remain public at first). If users aged 13-17 so choose, they can elect to have their posts public, but the automatic setting is friends.

Previously, the default setting for the young users was for posts to be visible to friends-of-friends, so only 2nd degree connections could see content.

Facebook is putting the decision to share in teens’ hands by also adding a public setting as an option:

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. So, starting today, people aged 13 through 17 will also have the choice to post publicly on Facebook.

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.

Teenagers, just like older users, also now have the option to turn on the “follow” feature, so public posts can show up in users’ News Feeds without the need for a friend connection.

The site will warn teens when they switch to public sharing.

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Facebook claims these changes were made to “improve the experience for teens.” Do you agree?