Facebook’s new privacy settings now allow teenagers to post videos, statuses and pictures that will appear publicly.
According to Yahoo news, Facebook announced the move on Wednesday, giving teenagers as young as 13 the ability to remove privacy settings from their posts.
The company’s decisions is also based on a marketing method aimed at reaching young consumers.
“It’s all about monetization and being where the public dialogue is,” said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a group that lobbies against marketing to children. “To the extent that Facebook encourages people to put everything out there, it’s incredibly attractive to Facebook’s advertisers.”
Facebook argues that several other social media outlets such as Twitter and Instagram allow young users to make public posts.
“It’s risky to have teenagers posting publicly. The kids who might be the most likely to do that might not have the best judgment about what they post,” said Emily Bazelon, a journalist and author of the book “Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy.”
Facebook’s new move also sparked a debate on cyber bullying and sexual harassment. Dosomething.org reports nearly 43 percent of kids have been bullied online and at least 1 in 4 have had it happen more than once.
The Federal Trade Commission also criticized Facebook’s decision and proposed a change that would give Facebook permission to take a user’s post — including a teenager’s — and turn it into an advertisement broadcast.
Alejandro Acquisti, a behavioral economist at Carnegie Mellon University, conducted a study that proved how someone could get personal information online about someone, using simply a picture.
“Despite how much we say we value our privacy — and we do, again and again — we tend to act inconsistently,” said Acquisti.