Parents' Guide to

Facebook

By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Huge social site connects, serves ads; check settings.

Facebook Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this website.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 211 parent reviews

age 2+

Facebook is the best app

age 11+

Privacy Rating Warning

  • Personal information is not sold or rented to third parties.
  • Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.
  • Data are collected by third-parties for their own purposes.
  • User's information is used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Data profiles are created and used for personalised advertisements.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (211 ):
Kids say (596 ):

As one of the biggest and most enduring social networks, this site and app have a number of aspects that users may find attractive -- including various ways to interact and stay in touch with acquaintances, ranging from responding to posts they make to text-based chatting and live video capabilities. But it's important to know the ins and outs before your teen starts posting. Though lots of teens are now only using Facebook as one of many methods of communicating, it's still relevant, continues to innovate, and keeps adding more features, like Facebook Dating. In recent years, gaming has been a focus; the site added a desktop gaming platform a few years ago, and as of spring 2019 was in the process of introducing a dedicated gaming tab. It can be difficult to keep up with all of Facebook's acquisitions and new capabilities, so it's a good idea to check settings periodically and have an account of your own to stay on top of things. As always, posting publicly, oversharing, and cyberbullying are concerns with social media, and with the addition of live-streaming in 2016, it's even more important to talk to teens about what's appropriate to share -- particularly because murder and suicide videos have been posted on the site in the past. Facebook has also come under criticism recently for allowing false information to be shared as news; the site says it's cracking down on its use, but it's possible teens could come across some.

Users will see ads as they scroll through their newsfeed that are chosen based on posts they make and other factors; you can click on the corner of an ad for an explanation of why you're seeing it, and opt to hide all ads from that advertiser, but you can't completely block ads from being shown. Other potential concerns include reports that some users have noted they couldn't delete the app from their phones, meaning it could be impossible to rid a device of the social network, if someone wants to. Also, since so many parents use Facebook, it's worth thinking about the digital footprint you're creating for your kid; in fact, many kids don't want endless pictures and videos of themselves shared with the world -- so be sensitive to the information trail you're leaving for your child.

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