Facebook explains how minors are getting special treatment when it comes to Graph Search

children at computer

Facebook’s Graph Search has inherent privacy issues we’ve more than explored since its launch. And while we all stand to be embarrassed by the new Facebook functionality, how Graph Search impacts minors is another thing altogether and presents entirely different issues. Today, Facebook addressed this issue and revealed in a blog post that Graph Search makes an exception for its users between the ages of 13 and 17, rounding these users up in their own Graph Search group that works a little differently.

Teen users by default can only share their status update friends of friends. They’re unable to upgrade to the “public” status option at least until they’ve hit their 18th birthday. So how does this affect Graph Search?

If you used Graph Search, you may have noticed results you got were limited to those from users who were over the age of 17. And today Facebook revealed why: Any search results that would reveal a young person’s age (between 13 and 17 years old) or their location are restricted to these minor’s friends or friends of friends who are also between the ages of 13 and 17. So with Graph Search, there’s a child protection measure built into the app to stymie any chances that anyone classified by Facebook as “adults” can see a minor’s content surfaced in Graph Search. And in case you were wondering, only friends or friends of friends are able to view a minor in Graph Search since it doesn’t take much effort for a predatory adult to just throw together a new fake Facebook profile that impersonates a 13 year old.

At the same time, we all know how naïve children can be. An adult can impersonate a minor’s friend and attempt to friend them by claiming to have created a new profile page because their old profile page was hacked. If successful, this of course would mean that the adult would have access to that minor’s Facebook friends in Graph Search since they’d now be considered Friends of Friends.

What information is revealed to bystanders about you may not always transparent, but at the end of the day it’s up to the user to protect themselves since Facebook or any other social network for that matter isn’t really going to care about your privacy, unless that company is facing a class action lawsuit.

Users should be cognizant of the types of content being published online, and while adults might not be able to find a teen’s info via Graph Search,  his or her classmates still can. And let’s face it, high school can be rough, so consider this a heads up to anyone in that age group who hasn’t combed over their Likes in awhile.  

Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

You can now share saved Facebook posts with a Pinterest-like collection tool

Facebook collections can now be shared with friends if you also want to allow them to contribute to the list. Facebook is rolling out an update that allows users to add a contributor to their collections, or lists of saved Facebook posts.

Google denies claim that it’s tracking internet users when incognito mode is on

Google is denying claims leveled against it by rival privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo. The rival alleged that even when incognito mode is on, Google is tracking users in order to deliver personalized search results.
Social Media

Tumblr bans nudity to create ‘a safe place for creative expression’

Tumblr will soon no longer allow images with adult content. The company says the change is one that's designed to help more creators feel comfortable sharing on the platform, but admits the change won't happen overnight.
Social Media

Members can share the same Story with Facebook’s new Group Stories

Facebook Group members can now view and share Group Stories. Unlike the Stories for an individual user, the new tool allows members to contribute to the same Group Story, if the feature isn't turned off by an admin.

Broadway actor tells Kanye West to get off his phone during opening night

Theater actors can get understandably upset when they spot someone in the audience fiddling with their phone instead of watching the show. The other night that audience member was Kanye West, and he got called out for it.
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.