Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Facebook launched its new Parents Portal on Tuesday, a collection of resources for parents.
The portal sits within Facebook’s safety section. You can find it by typing “safety” in the Facebook search menu.
The broader safety site includes links to the Safety Center and Help Center. These sites include information on Facebook policies, tools and resources for staying safe online. You can perform quick security and privacy checkups for your accounts.
Also included in the Safety Center, but not directly linked to the Parents Portal, is the Bullying Prevention Hub, with resources for teens, parents and educators.
Additionally, at the bottom of the navigation menu under the Help Center menu, is a link to suicide hotlines, with links to resources and suicide prevention numbers in more than 40 countries.
The Parents Portal is an attempt by Facebook to be make social media safer for everyone. “Our goal is to help foster conversations among parents and their children about staying safe online,” Facebook said in the announcement posted yesterday.
The Parents Portal submenu provides parents with links to categories including “Get to know Facebook,” “Parenting Tips,” and “Expert Advice.”
The opening page to the Portal reads “We’ve come up with some handy links, tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your experience and help your child navigate their experience.”
Antigone Davis, head of global safety for Facebook, said the ultimate goal of the Parents Portal is to create discussions between parents and children about online safety and social media use.
“The way that we hope to do that is by providing parents some of the fundamentals about Facebook so they can engage in meaningful conversations with their children over the course of their lifetime,” Davis said.
Within the “Get to Know Facebook” section, you’ll find information for helping new users get started on Facebook and how to help them stay safe when they get started.
Facebook’s “Staying Safe” section includes information on community standards (what is and isn’t okay to share on Facebook), policies for keeping teens safe, and underage accounts.
Parents also can find links to help explain basic Facebook functionality to their kids, such as blocking, following and unfollowing, friending and unfriending, and reporting cases of abuse, bullying and harassment.
The best part? Facebook gives you links to videos.
So, if you don’t know how to talk to your kids about these important issues after reading the information, or your kids won’t listen to you, show them a video. For example, check out the video on safe friending under Facebook’s Best Practices menu.
It’s clear that Facebook wants the experience to be fun and safe for users of every age, and giving parents more tools to protect their kids online makes us all a little safer.
Adam Earnheardt is chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University. Read his blog at adamearn.com and follow him on Twitter at @adamearn.