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County opposes Facebook privacy changes for young teens

The Fayette County Commission has expressed concern over a proposed change that would allow young teens using Facebook a chance to let all users view their posts, pictures and more.

Currently, Facebook users ages 13-17 are only allowed to share their material directly with friends or “friends of friends.” The change Facebook is planning would allow those young users to choose to share their content with all Facebook users, according to Fayette County Commission Chairman Steve Brown.

The commission unanimously passed a resolution Oct. 24 opposing the changes.

“The problem we have is that it also opens the door for a lot of other things to happen with strangers allowed to look at your children’s activities,” Brown said. “We should all be very, very worried. As a board we decided somebody has to say something.”

Brown encouraged the audience to take to Facebook in opposition of the website’s privacy changes for young teenage users. He argued that it’s not a good idea for young teens to be allowed to share their personal information “with strangers and predators.”

Brown specifically cited the growing trend of cyber-bullying, citing the recent suicide of a girl in the United States who had been bullied online.

“Imagine when you take away those protections and what kind of door that’s going to open,” Brown said.

Brown said the commission hopes that other local governing bodies speak out on the matter, noting that the Atlanta Regional Commission, a 10-county coalition of local government representatives, would also be addressing the matter in the near future.



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