Facebook is not for children under the age of 13
Information for Schools and parents from the local e-Safety Officer
Rebecca Avery, e-Safety Officer
Facebook: Information for Schools
What is Facebook?
Facebook is a popular Social Networking site.
Facebook is a US based company with over 450 million registered users - 20 million of which are in the UK.
Facebook is only for users aged over 13; however it is very easy for young people (or indeed adults) to enter an incorrect date of birth or false information to open an account.
It is essential that all Facebook users need to be aware of how to protect their information, how to report abuse or inappropriate content and that their parents/carers must be aware they are online.
Useful Tips for Young People:
. Visit here for advice on staying safe on Facebook.
. Make sure all online profiles are set to Private (friends only).
. Do not share any personal information online e.g. school, full name, contact details etc
. Think very carefully about photos and comments shared online -once it's been posted you can't remove it and remember than anyone could possibly see it (Would you say it in person or show it to your parents? If not then don't put it online).
. Use an internet nickname rather than your full name and why not use a cartoon picture (avatar) for your profile picture - never post pictures of young people in school uniform.
. Make sure you only use Facebook to speak to people you know in the real world.
. Never arrange to meet someone you've met on Facebook without making it safe by taking an adult with you. Always meet in a public place during the day.
. If someone says something on Facebook that makes you feel scared, worried or uncomfortable then make sure you report it to Facebook and/or the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
CEOP or www.thinkuknow.co.uk
. Visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk for more information on how to keep safe online.
If children are using the site in an abusive way (e.g. to Cyberbully etc) then it is essential that they are reported and removed from Facebook.
Evidence of Cyberbullying should be kept (e.g. messages, screen prints etc) to help ensure that the sanctions can be implemented. (See the Cyberbullying Section for advice on how to deal with Cyberbullying)
Many schools send letters to all parents reminding them about Facebook's age limit (13) and advising parents to speak with their children about safe internet use and to be aware if their child is using Facebook under age.
As Facebook is frequently blocked in school, the following information has been copied from Facebook based on frequently asked questions to help inform schools about actions they can take about young people on Facebook and incidents of Cyberbullying.
Facebook Safety Centre:
Facebook Information for Parents:
Features General Information, Addressing Personal Safety and Responding to Objectionable Content
"What happens if my Child has set up an account and they are under 13?"
Facebook requires its users to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account. Providing false information to create an account is a violation of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
Applicable laws may give parents the right to access personal information their child has provided before Facebook follows its policy of promptly deleting such accounts.
If you are aware of your underage child having an account on Facebook, you can show them how to delete their account by having them log into their profile and following this link: Account Settings
If you would like to report an underage user (under 13 years of age), please report this.
We will promptly delete the account of any underage user that is reported to us through this form.
"How can I help my child use Facebook safely?"
The best thing to do is to talk to your children and teach them about Internet safety.
Remind them to:
. Never share their password with anyone
. Understand their privacy settings
. Report people or content that violate our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
. Block anyone that might be sending unwanted content
. Discuss safe online behaviour with your child such as sharing personal information, making safe passwords and meeting online friends
. Why not have a "family" Facebook page to use safely together or use your own profile to role model positive online behaviour
. Make sure you know what your children are doing online much like you would in "real" life.
. Make sure that your children are aware that people or websites can lie online.
. Make sure your child understands that online actions can have offline consequences.
. Visit www.facebook.com/parents
. Visit www.childnet.com/kia for advice and an interactive guide
. Visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents for more information on how to keep safe online
. Visit www.kent.gov.uk/esafety - Kent's e-Safety information for Parents and Carers
Facebook and Cyberbullying
We want Facebook to remain an environment where people can connect and share comfortably. Cyberbullying is defined as the use of any new technology to harass or intimidate someone and is considered to be abusive behaviour.
Accept Friend Requests Safely
In order to prevent harassment from strangers, be careful to accept friend requests only from people you know in real life. Also, remember to report any messages or profiles that look suspicious.
Facebook is based on a real-name culture, and fake profiles are regularly disabled when they're reported to us.
Please also keep in mind that only confirmed friends can post to your Wall or contact you via Facebook Chat, so if you're worried that someone will make inappropriate posts or send offensive messages, just ignore that person's friend request.
Use the "Block" Feature to Stop Abusive Behaviour
A block prevents specific people from viewing your profile. When you block people, any ties you currently have with them will be broken, and these people won't be able to contact you through Facebook
If you receive inappropriate or abusive communication, you can block the person by listing his or her name in the "Block People" box at the bottom of your Privacy Settings page. You can visit this page at any time by hovering your mouse over the "Home" link at the top of any Facebook page and selecting the "Privacy Settings" option from the drop-down menu that appears.
Report Abusive Behaviour Directly to Facebook
The most efficient way to report abuse is to do it in the same place it occurs on Facebook. For example, if you receive a harassing message in your Inbox, you can report the message by clicking on the "Report" link next to the sender's message.
If you receive a harassing message from a person who is a Facebook friend of yours, you should remove the person as a friend and report the message.
Reporting the message as harassing will automatically add this person to your Block list. You can also use the "Report/Block person" link that appears at the bottom of the abusive user's profile. If you learn that someone is continuing to make abusive comments about you even after you've blocked them, you can ask a friend to report that person on your behalf.
A Facebook administrator looks into each report thoroughly in order to decide the appropriate course of action.
Restrict Privacy Settings
To restrict the amount of information that potential bullies may have access to, customize your privacy settings so that certain people can't access information like your Wall, photos, or profile.
You can also change your privacy settings if you are uncomfortable being found in searches or having your profile viewed publicly. Privacy on Facebook is controlled primarily from the Privacy Settings page. You can visit this page at any time by hovering your mouse over the "Home" link at the top of any page of Facebook and selecting the "Privacy Settings" option from the drop-down menu that appears.
Respond to Abusers in the Right Way
Cyberbullies often seek a reaction from the people they harass. When they fail to get one, they often give up gradually.
Rather than responding to a bully via Inbox, a Wall post, or Facebook Chat, you can delete offensive posts from your Wall or messages from your Inbox and then use the "Block" or "Report" functions to resolve the issue safely.
To delete an offensive Wall post, on the right hand side of the post in question, click the "v" button that appears, and select "Hide" in the dialogue box. To delete a message from Inbox, simply click the "Actions" button at the top of the message and then "Delete". Only confirmed friends can post to your Wall or send you a message through Chat. If you are receiving posts and Chat messages you don't like, you should consider removing the sender from your friends list.
Reporting Abusive Content
"How do I report abusive Content?"
You may report abuse by using the proper "Report" link that appears next to many pieces of content on the site. You may also report another user by using the "Report/Block" link that appears at the top of a user's profile page.
If this does not resolve the issue, we suggest that you block the person by listing his or her name in the "Blocking People" box that appears at the bottom of the Privacy page.
If you have already blocked an offender or have been blocked by an offender posting abusive content, please have another user report the abusive content or the offender through the one of the various "Report" links available on the site.
If you don't have a Facebook account then you can report abusive content here
"How do I report a fake or impostor Profile?"
You can report a profile that violates Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities by clicking the "Report/Block this Person" link in the left column of the profile, selecting "Fake profile" as the reason, and adding the appropriate information. The following categories of profiles are prohibited on the site:
. Profiles that impersonate you or someone else
. Profiles that use your photos
. Profiles that list a fake name
. Profiles that do not represent a real person
. Profiles that have been hacked
Be sure to choose the correct report type to help us verify the information. Facebook reviews every report we receive in order to determine whether or not the content violates our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, and will take appropriate action.
Rest assured that these reports will be kept confidential.
If you don't have a Facebook account then you can report abusive content here
Features General Information, Addressing Personal
Safety and Responding to Objectionable Content
"What should I do if I become aware of an underage user (under 13) with an account on Facebook?"
Facebook requires its users to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account.
Providing false information to create an account is a violation of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
If you would like to report an underage user (under 13 years of age), please do so
We will promptly delete the account of any user under the age of 13 that is reported to us through this form.
"What do I do if someone has posted a photo of me that I don't like?"
Facebook will only remove photos that violate our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (e. g. pornography or copyrighted images).
However, there are some things you can do if you don't like a photo of you on the site:
To remove your name from a particular photo, view the photo and click the "Remove Tag" link next to your name. It will no longer be linked to your profile.
Remember that you can only be tagged in photos by your friends.
If you are having problems with someone constantly tagging you in embarrassing photos, just remove them as a friend from the Friends page.
If you don't want the photo to be shown at all, please talk to the person who posted it. They should be respectful enough to remove unwanted photos.
Unfortunately, Facebook cannot make users remove photos that do not violate our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
"What should I do if I am aware of abuse on Facebook involving students?"
Facebook has report links on the site to help signal abusive content. We recommend that you ask the student involved in the abuse to report the matter using the instructions below:
. To report a profile, go to the profile and click "Report/Block this Person in the left column below the profile photo.
. To report a photo, go to the specific photo and click "Report This Photo" below the photo.
. To report an Inbox message, view the message and click "Report Message" below the sender's name. Note that you can only report messages from non-friends.
. To report a group or event, go to its main page and click the "Report" link below the group or event photo.
. To report a Page, view the Page and click "Report Page" in the left column below the Page photo.
If the student involved is unable to report the content, you can also report it yourself. Please note that we are unable to provide information about accounts on Facebook to anyone but the account holder.
"How can I maintain a professional presence on the site separate from my personal profile?"
If you are a teacher and have a personal profile, you can consider creating a group or a Page specifically for interacting with students, parents, or colleagues.
Addition from e-Safety Officer: The use of Facebook for professional purposes should only take place with full approval and support from your school Senior Leadership Team, be fully documented in the School e-Safety Policy, include appropriate training and awareness for all those involved and only with users who are able to use the site (e.g. 13 and over)
Some ideas to consider:
Pages: Pages are for broadcasting information to people on Facebook. For example, you could create a Page called "Ms. Smith's 9th Grade Science Class" where you post daily homework assignments.
Anyone can become a fan of a Page on Facebook. People who choose to become a fan of a Page will see updates on their profile.
To create a Page, click here
Pages are free, you can control them with your personal profile, and they keep your profile separate from your students.
Groups: Groups make it easy for members of a community to connect, share and even collaborate on a given topic or idea. For example, you could create a group called "American Literature 101 Discussions" where you and your students can contribute to group discussions. Or you could create a group for all of the educators in your department to collaborate on lesson plans and share ideas. To create a group, click here
Friend Lists: Friend Lists provide organized groupings of your friends on Facebook.
For example, you can create a Friend List specifically for your students. Then you can control which parts of your profile are visible to this entire list.
You can also filter your view of each list's stream of activity separately on the home page, or send messages and invites to this group of people all at once.
To learn more about creating and managing Friend Lists, click here
"What is the "Facebook in Education" Page?"
The "Facebook in Education" page is a resource for teachers, professors, administrators, counsellors and others who work in education. You can refer to this page for privacy tips to help you maintain both a personal and a professional presence on Facebook. You'll also find answers to common questions including how to report abuse to Facebook and the best way to use Facebook as a communication tool in your school.
To become a fan of this page choose the "Become a Fan" option at the top of the page.
Facebook Terms and Conditions
It is useful to refer to these terms when reporting inappropriate content or material or underage users to Facebook.
We do our best to keep Facebook safe, but we cannot guarantee it. We need your help to do that, which includes the following commitments:
1. You will not send or otherwise post unauthorized commercial communications (such as spam) on Facebook.
2. You will not collect users' content or information, or otherwise access Facebook, using automated means (such as harvesting bots, robots, spiders, or scrapers) without our permission.
3. You will not engage in unlawful multi-level marketing, such as a pyramid scheme, on Facebook.
4. You will not upload viruses or other malicious code.
5. You will not solicit login information or access an account belonging to someone else.
6. You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user.
7. You will not post content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic, or that contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.
8. You will not develop or operate a third party application containing, or advertise or otherwise market alcohol-related or other mature content without appropriate age-based restrictions.
9. You will not offer any contest, giveaway, or sweepstakes ("promotion") on Facebook without our prior written consent. If we consent, you take full responsibility for the promotion, and will follow our Promotions Guidelines and all applicable laws.
10. You will not use Facebook to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory.
11. You will not do anything that could disable, overburden, or impair the proper working of Facebook, such as a denial of service attack.
12. You will not facilitate or encourage any violations of this Statement. "Registration and Account Security"
Facebook users provide their real names and information and we need your help to keep it that way.
Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
1. You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
2. You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).
3. You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.
4. You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.
5. You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
6. You will not share your password, let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
7. You will not transfer your account to anyone without first getting our written permission.
8. If you select a username for your account we reserve the right to remove or reclaim it if we believe appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains about a username that does not closely relate to a user's actual name)