One of our recent posts on the SocialShield blog discussed the risks that Facebook Groups poses to parental control on Facebook. We argued that if kids can establish their own groups – and exclude parents and other adults from them – well, then there is real danger of kids establishing their own mini-dens of iniquity where over-sharing and cyberbullying run rampant.
We still think this is accurate. However, Facebook Groups is a positive development on net. Newsfeeds become vastly more relevant to everyone on Facebook, so there is increased sharing that’s taking place. It also improves privacy, because you are not immediately broadcasting every status update or photo to your entire network.
As parents and kids confront Facebook Groups, it is always good to be aware of all of its features as well as best practices. And so we came across this excellent list of tips by James Markow for managing your Facebook Groups. These were the tips that we found the most helpful:
2. No Reset Button – If you cross the line adding people to unwarranted groups or using the groups feature to spam people will be short lived for two reasons- 1.) People can easily unsubscribe and 2.) Once they remove themselves from one of your groups you no longer have the ability to add them to future groups. Period.
5. Know Your Members – Extending on the ‘Trust Your Friends’ tip above- Any group member has the power to invite ANY of their friends into the group. Want to keep things private? You better know your members.
7. Know the Privacy Level – The privacy level can be set differently for each group. In total, there are three privacy settings:
- Open – Both the group members and their content is public.
- Closed – Group members are public, but their content is private.
- Secret – Both group members and their content is private.
As we have mentioned in previous posts, under no circumstances should kids feel like it’s okay now to over-share inappropriate photos or information on Facebook Groups. Just because the groups are smaller does not mean that compromising information on your child can escape the group and go viral on the Internet. Just ask Karen Owen from Duke University.
Do you have any additional tips, particularly for parents, to keep kids safe on Facebook Groups?