Facebook Outlines Steps To Make Graph Search Safe For Teen Users

By David Cohen 

With testing of Facebook’s new graph search feature in full swing, the social network took steps to reassure parents of teens that their children are not at risk, outlining steps that were taken to protect users aged 13 to 17.

In a note on the Facebook Safety page, the social network reminded users that those aged 13 to 17 can only share information on their timelines and status updates with friends of friends, and not with the entire Facebook community.

Also, when it comes to graph search, Facebook Safety said the results of certain searches that could potentially identify its teen users by age or location will only be available to their friends or friends of friends who are also between the ages of 13 and 17.

Facebook Manager of Privacy and Safety Nicky Jackson Colaco told CNN:

What we really wanted to do was try to identify things that could be even more sensitive for minors — that would identify them by their age and location. Those kinds of things are more sensitive, and we wanted to really make sure they had an even more restrictive experience.

This is true across Facebook. It’s really important to us that minors represent their real age. If they tell us they’re 25, they’re not getting these protections and a lot of other protections we offer.

The Facebook Safety note also re-emphasized the following general tips for users concerned about privacy:

As always, when sharing anything on Facebook, remember to use good judgment and share responsibly. Learn more about tools to help control what appears in search below:

Manage your activity log: Activity log makes it easy to see the things you’ve posted on Facebook, make changes to the audience of past photos and other posts, and choose what appears on your timeline. We recently announced some new tools that make it easier to take action on multiple photos, such as untagging them, or requesting that they are removed with one click. If you are ever concerned who can see content you have posted or shared on Facebook, review it on your activity log.

Review about me: In addition to your activity log, review the “about” tab to check any basic info you have shared with others on your profile, such as your current city, your workplace, pages you like, or your education. The same people who can see this info on your profile can search for this info about you. Check this section to make sure you are comfortable with the audience you have chosen to share this information with.

Reporting: As always, do not hesitate to report any abusive content you see on Facebook in the report links throughout site.

Readers: Do you think Facebook is doing enough to protect its younger users when it comes to graph search?