MySpace, Facebook and Other Social Networking Sites
What is a Social Networking Site? A social networking site is a website where individuals can set up an online profile, describe their interests, and add links to other profiles Generally, users are able to post personal information, including photographs, videos, and blog entries
Popularity of SNS The National School Boards Association study of 9 to 17 year olds found that: They spend almost as much time on social networking sites and other websites as they do watching television (9 hours vs. 10 hours) 96% reported using some form of social networking technology Vs.
Popularity of SNS The Pew Internet Research Group found that 73% of 12 – 17 year olds use social networks (82% of 14 – 17 year olds; 55% of 12-13 year olds) 93% of teens 12 – 17 go online
Popularity of SNS Most Popular Social Network Sites (as of 10/05/10) #1 Facebook 550 million monthly visitors #2 MySpace 90.5 million monthly visitors #3 Twitter 89.9 million monthly visitors Most Popular websites overall (as of 10/05/10) #2 Facebook #10 MySpace
Why SNS? Make connections Socializing View content and find information – topic information, videos, music, photos, etc. Create content and express themselves using video, music, photos, etc. And on and on and on . . .
Safety Tips Talk with students about choosing user names that don’t reveal too much personal information It is inappropriate and dangerous for children to use their name or home town as their name Most user names made up of personal information are easily deciphered which can lead perpetrators to a student’s identity or location
Safety Tips Advise students to be careful what information they put on their profile that is available to the public Pieces of information are likes pieces of a puzzle – they can allow someone to figure out a students’ name, location, etc.
Safety Tips Talk with students about only posting information that is appropriate for the entire public Anyone can see individual web pages including teachers, public, police, college admission officers or potential employers What is posted today may be harmful in the future
Safety Tips Discuss protecting other persons’ information by not posting anything without that persons’ permission Students should also check their friends’ profiles to see what’s posted there
Social Networks & Privacy Most afford varying levels of privacy Only people that you choose can see your information Restrict visibility to registered members or members of certain groups Public – everyone can see your information Many social networking sites allow some sort of customization of privacy
Facebook Privacy and Minors Until their 18th birthday, minors: Don’t have public search listings created for them Visibility of their information is limited to friends of friends and networks, even if they chose to make it available to everyone * Does not apply to name, profile picture, gender and networks, which are visible to everyone so real world friends can recognize them
Safety Tips Encourage students to customize the privacy settings available rather than accepting the default settings Many times the default settings allow too much information to be shared publicly
Safety Tips Remind students that once information is posted online and deleted or modified, the original will never be completely deleted Older versions can exist on someone else’s computer
Safety Tips Warn students against adding strangers as friends– people are not always who they say they are Students should not add people as “friends” unless they know for sure who the person is
Safety Tips Talk with students about respecting other people online Students shouldn’t say anything online that they wouldn’t say face-to-face
Safety Tips Encourage students to not respond to mean or harassing messages Students should learn to ignore these messages and block or delete the person who sent them Encourage students to speak with a trusted adult if the harassment continues Inform students to save the messages as they could be used as evidence in determining if school policy or a criminal law has been broken
Blocking Someone on Facebook Located on the upper right portion of your profile page
Tips for Facebook Protect Yourself from Applications Many applications share your personal information with others The Wall Street Journal reported that ten of Facebook’s most popular applications share user’s personal information – three of those were also found to share user’s friend’s information (10/18/10)
Tips for MySpace Private profiles Every profile has the option of being private This means that only you and those you have added and approved as friends can see the details of your profile, including your blog, photos, interests, etc.
Tips for MySpace Block another user If a user that you do not know or want to interact with contacts you, you have the ability to block them from future contact Also, if you feel this person may be a threat to yourself or others, immediately notify a trusted adult or law enforcement and report the user to MySpace through the ‘Contact MySpace’ link at the bottom of every page
Blocking Someone on Myspace Usually located underneath profile picture Located on bottom of profile page
Other Sites Chatroulette Allows people around the world to see each other and chat via text or audio. Users can click “next” to skip from person to person, never knowing what the next image will be Children could be exposed to violent and sexual images
Other Sites Hot or Not Users can upload photos and have them rated Sometimes this is used to cyberbully or harass someone Children can be exposed to inappropriate content
Other Sites Formspring Can link to Facebook and Twitter profile which allows you to invite online friends to ask questions or post comments, without having to identify themselves Comments and questions go into private mailbox, where user can ignore, delete or answer them – only answered questions are posted Users can choose not to accept anonymous questions but that doesn’t always happen
Other Sites Formspring Allows users to anonymously ask questions for others to publicly answer Anonymity is what draws people – users can anonymously tell someone how they feel about them or something they feel they should know Can ask questions that would otherwise be too embarrassed to ask – BUT, they can also fill a user’s inbox with hate mail, harassment or other inappropriate statements