News + Gossip Mum
• Restrictions on searches – Facebook have added a feature that does not allow those over the age of 18 to search for anyone under the age of 18, unless the two people have mutual friends. This is the same with messaging; someone who is over 18 is unable to message someone who is under 18 unless they have mutual friends on Facebook.
• Social reporting tools – this feature allows people to report when others are bothering them on Facebook. Facebook have done research into the language that under 18s prefer to respond to, and have found that language such as “bothering” or “being mean” are favoured by the younger users of Facebook. This means that problems can be solved more efficiently and correctly if under 18s are more comfortable with describing their problems.
• Power of non-Facebook users – even those who are not Facebook users themselves are able to report people who they think are using a fake age on Facebook. This gives parents of children under the age of 13 more control over children who may not be old enough to be using Facebook.
Facebook have also included safety features that are beneficial to users of any age. Some of these include:
• Tag review – this feature gives people the chance to review anything that they are tagged in on Facebook before it appears on their page to make sure that they are happy with it. This means that Facebook users can keep unwanted information off their Facebook page even if someone else tags them in it.
• Privacy “check-up” – Facebook have put this feature in place to allow people to check their privacy settings to make sure they are how they want them to be. Facebook have also modified the language used on the privacy check for different age groups so that it is easy for everyone to understand.
• Safety Check – last year Facebook released the Safety Check feature, which gives people who have been in a disaster the opportunity to let their friends and family know that they are safe. It works by sending people a notification if they are in an area where there has been a disaster asking whether they are safe. If they then confirm that they are safe, their feed will be updated so that all their friends can see that they are okay. The user will also be notified if their friends in the same area are safe as well.