“At Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), nothing is more important than the safety of the people who use our service,” reads the statement at the top of the company’s Safety page. Broadly, this philosophy seems to be the result of two things: a well-meaning (though profit-driven) corporate culture, and vigilant regulatory watchdogs.
In this context, the safety of the user means the safety of their information — and by extension, their image, reputation, and most importantly, their privacy. Beyond social embarrassment, Facebook users have lost jobs or have had the police summoned to their doorstep because of information disclosed on the site. In particular, teenagers have been identified as an at-risk group. Facebook’s privacy settings are nothing short of byzantine, and more than one youth has found themselves in trouble because of accidental disclosures.
As anyone who follows the company will remember, Facebook has received more than one black eye for dubious privacy policies. In fact, the company has taken so much flak that regulatory watchdogs have been compelled to intervene. This intervention has taken the form of an online safety campaign, announced on Monday, that will have the social network working in league with the National Association of Attorneys General.
The campaign will consist of a few elements that the company outlined in a statement.
- “Ask the Safety Team Video” series. Over the past few years, we have traveled around the country, teaching educators, parents and teens how to safely use our service. We’ve created a video series from our safety team that answers the questions we’re asked most during this events.
- “What You Can Do to Control Your Information,” a tip sheet that offers the 10 top tools to control your information on Facebook.
- State-specific public service announcements with participating attorneys general and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.
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