Facebook Privacy and Teens

I don't spend a lot of time on Facebook (note to self: update and pimp out MomImpact fan page one of these days), so I'm not clear on the ins and outs of it, but I know enough that I don't want my 12 year-old on it.

Apparently, the fact that one must be 13 to have a page does not deter the 10-12 year-old set. As my boy tried to make his case for The Face', he showed me his many classmates on Facebook. I offer to friend them for him, but oddly, that did not suffice.

When he is 13, we can talk about him starting an account, but honestly, I'm increasingly freaked out by Facebook's openness and how easy it is to get important details from people. A year, maybe two years ago, I felt like some people's public profiles screamed, "Take my identity, please!" And that was back in the good old days.

Facebook has recently made sweeping changes in their privacy policy. It's not you they care about, it's the companies and brands that bring in the money (though some of those aren't too happy with recent changes to the system either). I also wonder how brands will react once critical masses of people have stripped down their profiles.

What doe these changes entail and what do they mean?
I'll leave it to the reporters at the New York Times to fill you in on the bewildering tangle of privacy options. Read this, because you know what? The new default settings on Facebook make your personal information public.

I hear a lot of my online friends, uber social media types talking about backing away from Facebook. What about you? And what sort of Facebook policies do you have for your kids? Have you walked them through or checked their privacy controls lately?
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