What teenagers think about Facebook's new privacy controls

Facebook has sparked controversy by
changing its privacy settings to give
teenagers the same control as adults
over what they share publicly. Photos,
status updates and posts are now
fully searchable by everyone on the
social network.
Facebook argues that the way young
people use the web has changed
dramatically and that teenagers are
experts at controlling who they share
things with. But concerns amongst the
adult population are widespread.
A report by the Pew Internet and the
American Life Project found that 91%
of the 12-to-17-year-olds it surveyed
post photos of themselves, 91% are
happy posting their real name, 60%
their relationship status, 82% their
birthday, 71% the town where they
live and the school they attend, 53%
their email address and 20% their
mobile number. Figures like these
help create fears that younger people
are not concerned about the
information they're sharing online.
But what do teenagers themselves
think? Three tell us their feelings
about sharing information online
and what they make of Facebook's
new privacy settings.
Oscar, 13
I look at my settings quite a lot and I
clicked on privacy and I found it. But
I'll definitely keep posts to just my
friends because if I set it to friends of
friends then it could be thousands of
people I don't know seeing them. I
don't want people who're much older
seeing my stuff. If I was on holiday
and posted a picture of my family - I
don't want everyone seeing that.
Occasionally someone has answered
a post in an anti-social way but I
normally answer back in a non-
aggressive, joky way and they
normally stop immediately.
Sometimes I just leave it and
sometimes friends answer for me and
back me up. I know people who have
had problems with friends of friends
saying mean things.
All the stuff I put up on Facebook
goes to people who know me
therefore they understand what I'm
talking about. People who don't know
me could misunderstand it and send
me messages like "What are you on
about?" I don't want that and it's
often friends of friends who say that
stuff, not friends. I use Facebook to
watch funny videos, but also for
chatting and sharing in-jokes which is
part of the reason I don't want
everyone on the internet seeing it.
I love Facebook because you can talk
with friends and connect with people
I haven't seen for a long time. It's
great to share stuff. The bad thing is
some people misuse it. I will always
be careful about the images I put on
there. We had someone talk to us and
they told us a story about a boy who
put up an inappropriate picture on
Facebook and years later someone
showed him the picture and he was
very embarrassed.
Facebook's becoming more and more
prominent in today's society so you
need Facebook now - it's not a plus,
you actually need it. I might stop
using it if I get particularly bad
comments, and I suppose if I got
really serious bullying then I would
stop it and not use it at all.
If I found out Facebook was sharing
lots of stuff about me I would be
really careful about my privacy
settings but I don't think I'd stop
using it.
Amy, 15
I had no idea about this [change] but
I have my sharing settings set to
friends, however it would have been
nice to have been told. I think it’s a
huge problem and I can’t believe
Facebook would allow this.
Many people might not realise their
posts are being shared for the world
to see, and some young people might
not realise the dangers of the
internet. In my opinion Facebook
need to do more to safeguard and
protect their younger users.
I’ll definitely just keep my posts to
my friends. I think it’s important to
do this, for our own privacy and
protection, otherwise anyone in the
world would be able to view what you
are saying, and if you are disclosing
personal information that could put
you at risk.
I’ve never had any problems due to
something I have posted. I know of a
few girls in my school who were
involved in sexting on Facebook
messages and have had their photos
spread around, obviously you should
never share what you wouldn’t show
your nan! But it was beyond awful
for them and their families, and I
can’t imagine how horrible it must
have been for them.
I think Facebook is a good social
platform to be able to interact with
friends. However I think more
measures need to be put in place to
safeguard young people, and I think
they need to publish more advice for
young people, and run internet
awareness campaigns.
I don’t think I will stop using it in the
near future. I’m sure as time
progresses more websites and
technology will be created, and
eventually it will be overtaken just
like MySpace and Bebo were.
AmySharps, 15
I knew about the setting before now
and I'll keep it to just friends as it is
safer and I don't want people who I
don't know being able to see my
posts. It could be dangerous as people
who you don't know could be reading
your posts, and they could be
someone who you don't want to get
involved with. I know someone who
posted the details of a party on
Facebook, and shared it with friends
of friends, lots of people turned up
who they didn't know.
I think Facebook is good if you use it
in the right way, with the correct
safety and privacy settings. It allows
you to communicate with friends all
over the world, as well as seeing what
they are up to and video calling them.
I don't think I will stop using it as it
is an important form of contact
between my friends and I go on it
almost every day - checking my
newsfeed has almost beco