Social networking giant Facebook has recently set up its ‘Youth Portal’ in a bid to empower and educate teens about privacy and getting the best out of the site.
The new online resource centre will give its younger users advice and tips including taking a break from social media. Other areas of focus include the dangers they may face when using social media platforms, such as talking to strangers. The aim of these pointers is so they can better understand how to use and control their privacy settings on the site, such as who can see their profile, posts etc.
One of the rumoured reasons for the introduction of this tool is because the company needs to better protect younger users and their data in order to comply with the new EU regulations on data, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which comes into effect on Friday 25th May. These laws prohibit the collection of certain data from minors.
According to Antigone Davis, the Global Head of Safety at Facebook, the Youth Portal concentrates of four aspects, with the first of these being education. Young users will be offered tips on how to get the most out of the social media site and its offerings, such as Events, Groups and Posts. It will also give users the opportunity to post their tips and advice on data privacy and using the social site for other users to see in a section of the portal it calls ‘Peer Voices’.
The advice on the portal is pretty basic at the moment, but is perhaps necessary to have, with some pieces of advice including ‘Think before you speak’, ‘Don’t leave the door to your house open’ and ‘Don’t give out personal information to someone you’ve just met’.
Facebook is still struggling to reconnect with its younger audience, trying to win back a demographic that is increasingly leaving the site. It has tried to clone Snapchat and use features of other popular social platforms and at one point, launched a version of the site for children under the age of 13, which provoked outrage in parents trying to shield their children from the darker side of social media. Whether the Youth Portal will be a success or not will become clear in time, but Facebook does plan to update the portal in accordance with feedback it receives from users.
Many questions have arisen from the announcement of the Youth Portal, with one of the main queries being whether teens would even use the platform. A list of tips, rules and advice is probably not high on the must-see agenda of most teenagers.