Facebook

Facebook is an online social media and social networking service. Created in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes, its name derives from the face book directories often given to American university students.
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Facebook is an online social media and social networking service. Created in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes, its name derives from the face book directories often given to American university students.

Facebook is an online social media and social networking service.

What Users can Do with Facebook?

Facebook is a website which allows users, who sign-up for free profiles, to connect with friends, work colleagues or people they don’t know, online. It allows users to share pictures, music, videos, and articles, as well as their own thoughts and opinions with however many people they like. Users send “friend requests” to people who they may – or may not – know. Facebook has over 1 billion users Once accepted, the two profiles are connected with both users able to see whatever the other person posts. “Facebookers” can post almost anything to their “timeline”, a snapshot of what is happening in their social circle at any given time, and can also enter private chat with other friends who are online.

Why is Facebook so Popular?

For young people, who have grown up with technology, Facebook was once the most popular website there is. However, many teens are migrating to other social networking sites such as Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) and Snapchat. Those who still use it, use it for social networking. Young people are natural born multi-taskers, so using Facebook, as with any social networking website, is almost second nature to many teens. Social networking websites allow young people to experiment with who they are. They are popular because teens can find their own, uninhibited voice online which they can share with friends. Some teens feel they can express themselves easier online when compared to the real world because perhaps they feel the virtual world is more secure. 

With the Opportunities Comes Risk

However, despite its popularity, there are also many risks for Facebook’s younger users. UPDATE: Under the new E.U General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Ireland has now set the Digital Age of Consent to 16 years old. This means young people under the age of 16 in Ireland are not allowed to access this platform. Here, Webwise outlines some of the main issues which parents have concerns about:

Privacy on Facebook:

Teens can sometimes forget that what is posted on Facebook is essentially a form of publishing and, unless profiles are set to private, anyone can view the information. Often, teens post too much personal information online like photos or phone numbers Predators: While rare, there have been instances where predators and other unscrupulous individuals have targeted young people on Facebook. Due to its nature, the site can be easily accessed and is full of personal information

Cyberbullying on Facebook:

Facebook provides bullies with a new and fertile battlefield where they can inflict maximum damage on their target through repeated use of nasty messages and other means. There are numerous stories of hijacked profiles or serious instances of cyberbullying which have lead to suffering for victims Meeting Contacts: Many parents fear that young people will meet face-to-face with people they first met online. With this there are obvious risks. Some young people will take online contacts at face value, but unfortunately, not everybody is genuine

Content on Facebook:

Sometimes, there can be content on Facebook which is unsuitable for young people and will upset them. Because of Facebook’s popularity, there are a lot of older users and often children can be exposed to things parents would prefer they were not.

Staying Safe on Facebook

Facebook gives people control over what they share, who they share it with, the content they see and experience, and who can contact them. For more information go to the Facebook Safety Centre:facebook.com/safety/tools

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