Teen Privacy The Focus Of New Online Campaign
April 16, 2013

Facebook Partners With States To Launch Nationwide Campaign To Promote Teen Privacy

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Facebook is teaming up with the National Association of Attorneys General to help educate teenagers and their parents about safety and privacy on the social networking community.

Maryland attorney general Doug Gansler, who serves as president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), said the nationwide initiative would kick off with a number of informational Web pages and videos.

"Teenagers and adults need to know and understand the many ways they can take charge of managing and protecting their online privacy when they go on Facebook and other digital platforms," Gansler said in a taped public service announcement with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

"This is an effort to help teens stay safe online as we continue our initiatives to push for greater online privacy, consumer transparency and control of their online information, especially to protect children."

The campaign will begin through the launch of a few different educational web tools, including a Facebook and NAGG "Safety and Privacy on Facebook” page, which will include information on privacy settings, best practices and a tip sheet on how to set up privacy controls.

Along with a basic primer video explaining what Facebook is and how to use it, the page will also feature "Ask the Safety Team" videos, in which members of Facebook's safety team answer questions about privacy, bullying and safety.

Additionally, the Facebook pages of participating state attorneys general will feature state-specific public service announcements and videos, in which the attorney general and Facebook´s Sandberg will offer advice. Gansler will appear in Maryland's video, which will be launched on Tuesday.

While it´s likely teens may not frequent the Web site or Facebook page of their state attorney general, Gansler said he is hoping their parents will.

He is also relying on Facebook's advertising of the pages to get the word out. The social network has already pledged to advertise state-specific video PSAs to parents, teens, and families on Facebook in participating states over the next year.

"This program is designed to provide teens with tools and tips to manage their privacy and visibility on Facebook and across the Internet," said Sandberg.

"We're grateful for Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler's leadership on this issue, and we look forward to working with him and attorneys general around the country."

Monday´s announcement coincides with reports Facebook´s popularity is declining with teens as more mobile friendly methods to communicate, such as Instagram and SnapChat, emerge.

Gansler acknowledged the recent data showing teens are shifting their preferences to alternate messaging services and social networks, but said Facebook is still the “800-pound gorilla.”

“While there is some movement [away from Facebook] into other places, and we are aware of that, we are going to make sure we are involved in those as well. We will move along with the trends towards the next thing in a regulatory capacity.

"Five years ago it was MySpace. The attorneys general got involved with MySpace and we addressed the sexual predator issues on the site," Gansler said during an interview with ABC News.

Although Gansler will be the first attorney general to work with Facebook, more than a dozen other attorneys general have signed on to share the new tools with their constituents through their Web sites and Facebook pages.

The PSAs, tools and tips will be made available through Attorney General Gansler's website and on Facebook's safety page.