Over the years Facebook has invested in a combination of new technologies, awareness campaigns, and new resources to help parents and young people navigate the platform safely.
Below we’ve summarised just some of the ways that they are doing this and highlighted resources available that parents and young people can take advantage of to have a safer experience.
In addition to creating a safety portal featuring a range of resources, Facebook announced that they were sharing their tech used to fight abuse on Facebook with others who are working to keep the internet safe and open-sourcing two technologies that detect identical and nearly identical photos and videos. Alongside Microsoft’s generous contribution of PhotoDNA to fight child exploitation 10 years ago and the Google Content Safety API, this announcement is part of an industry-wide commitment to building a safer internet.
So far, they have taken action on:
Facebook has been part of the Government’s Tackling Loneliness Network, to co-chair the ‘tackling loneliness in young people’s group, and to contribute to the Emerging Together: The Tackling Loneliness Network Action Plan which was published in May. The report makes recommendations on supporting individuals and organizations to tackle this difficult issue.
Facebook has strict policies against harmful content on their platforms and their transparency reports show that they are making significant strides and removing more harmful content before anyone reports it to them.
Launched in 2017, the Facebook Safety Center walks people through tools to control their experiences on Facebook and a range of tips and resources. This includes step-by-step videos and resources from over 75 expert NGO partners from around the world.
As part of the safety centre, the Parent Portal offers parents and carers insight on the basics about Facebook, tips on how to talk about online safety with children, and access to a range of expert resources created to support parents and carers.
Aimed at teens, the Youth Portal offers young people information about the tools and policies available on Facebook that they can use to stay safe on the platform. As well as this, there is advice from other young people on topics like how to manage negative experiences.
Introduced to the Safety Centre in May 2018, the Online wellbeing section provides people with more information on where to get help regarding suicide prevention. There are also signposts to tools on Facebook to support people posting about suicide, including reaching out to a friend, contacting helplines, and reading tips about things they can do at that moment and social resolution.
The Digital Literacy Library was created in August 2018 and features a collection of lesson plans to help young people think critically and share safely online. Developed by the Youth and Media researchers at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, the resources are aimed at educators of youth ages 11 to 18. The lessons incorporate over 10 years of academic research by the Youth and Media team and reflect the diverse voices of young people from around the world. The lessons address topics like reputation management, identity exploration, cybersecurity, and privacy.
There is also a range of safety guides created with partners around the world that touch on a range of issues; here are links to a few examples:
In addition to the guides, they also provide a Help centre to provide more education and advice.
See more resources and articles to support children online: