The Facebook Youth Portal and our Ongoing Work with Teens
By Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety and Karuna Nain, Global Policy Programs Manager
It’s important that teens can use Facebook in the ways that matter to them while having access to the information and tools they need to keep their information protected and themselves safe. Today we’re excited to launch our Youth Portal, a central place for teens looking for answers and inspiration about Facebook. The site is available on desktop and mobile in 60 languages across the world and includes:
- Information on how to safely get the most out of popular Facebook products such as Pages, Groups, Events, and Profile
- A “Peer Voices” section with first person accounts from teens about how they are using technology in powerful ways
- Tips on how to enhance your security, manage your connections, report content, limit who can see what you share, and control what information can be used when serving you ads
- Information on the types of data Facebook collects and how it may be used
- Tips for what to do if you need a social media break, and some guidelines for how to get the most out of the internet
In addition to adding the Youth Portal to our Safety Center, we’re also exploring new ways to bring these tips directly to teens on Facebook. Earlier this month we started sending educational tips in News Feed to teens about topics they care about like who can see what on their profile, and we’re also sending a tip that directs teens to our Bullying Prevention Hub.
Informed by direct feedback from teens, the Youth Portal and these tips show how we’re working with young people to ensure their voices come through not only on our platform but in how we build our products and programs. We hear from policymakers and safety advocates that we should be putting this information directly in front of teens while on the platform, and we hope these resources help young people make the most of Facebook while staying safe.
Our ongoing work with teens
To build the portal, we gathered input from young people from around the world who told us what would be most helpful. We had discussions with groups of teens in the UK, Italy, the US and Brazil, and spoke with many more at events like our Safer Internet Day workshops in São Paulo, the #WeMatter youth forum in Canada, and our Global Safety Network summits in Washington, DC and Dublin, Ireland.
We’re also engaging with policymakers, privacy experts, other companies and user experience designers about how to give teens the tools and information they need from their point of view. We recently hosted a workshop in London with people across these groups to talk about how companies can give teens more data transparency.
And this is just the start. We’ve long engaged with youth through programs with organizations like Skuola.net, Diana Award, ChildNet, iWin, SaferNet, LearningLinks Foundation and (need a US partner), and with this launch we’ll be expanding our ongoing work and engagement with teens to ensure we’re building the products, tools, and resources that teens want and need.
We recently welcomed Project Rockit to our Safety Advisory Board. Project Rockit is dedicated to creating real social change by tackling the issue of bullying in school communities and brings a uniquely youth-centric perspective to the group’s work.
Lastly, we’ll be continuing our roundtables with teens in countries around the world to improve our understanding and shape our perspective on how young people engage with Facebook and online technologies in many cultures.
We look forward to hearing feedback and learning more.