Facebook Loosens Privacy Settings for Teens

Teens can now share social network updates publicly.

Teenagers between ages 13 and 17 can now post publicly on Facebook instead of only among friends.
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Facebook users between ages 13 to 17 will now be able to share their posts publicly, as the company tweaks its privacy settings once again trying to balance safety with convenience and self-expression on its social network.

[READ: FTC Reviewing Whether Facebook Violated Privacy Rules]

In an attempt to remind teenagers to be responsible with this new freedom, Facebook will include an extra reminder when teenagers set their status updates to "public," the social network announced on Wednesday. The website will set the default audience for teens' posts to "Friends," but teens will have the option to expand that audience to "Friends of Friends."

"Teens are among the savviest people using social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard," Facebook said on its website. "While only a small fraction of teens using Facebook might choose to post publicly, this update now gives them the choice to share more broadly, just like on other social media services."

Facebook's privacy policies affect the personal information of its approximately 1.1 billion users, and can expose that information to advertisers. Facebook last updated its privacy policy on Aug. 29, which clarified that it retains the right to use images and information about its users in advertisements on its website.

[ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg Goes to Washington]

The new updated privacy policy on Facebook explains that the information of minors can be used in advertising because a minor's account on Facebook represents that "parents or legal guardians [have] also agreed to the terms."

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