Groups hit out at Facebook in child safety backlash
on 18/10/2013 07:37:11
The social networking site announced that users aged from 13 to 17 will now be able to switch their settings to share posts with anyone on the internet, rather than just their "friends" or "friends of friends".
Children's groups and internet safety experts denounced the move, saying it could leave young people more vulnerable to cyber-bullying.
Anthony Smythe, managing director of BeatBullying, told The Times: "We have concerns that this age group can now share information in the public domain.
"Something they think might not be harmful now may come back to haunt them later. This is a move in the wrong direction."
The newspaper also said Jim Gamble, former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), had expressed "concern" that the move could make youngsters more vulnerable.
Facebook argued that it was offering more choice to tech-savvy teenagers.
It also stressed that initial privacy settings for teens under 18 would automatically be programmed so posts are seen only by friends.
"We take the safety of teens very seriously, so they will see an extra reminder before they can share publicly," the company headed by Mark Zukerburg said in its update.
It already announced last week that it is removing privacy setting so that anyone can search for a user's profile.