This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 9/30/2016

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Snapchat is growing up fast, and competitors are rushing to copy its features. They might never catch up to this moving target. This week Snapchat changed its name to Snap, and will soon begin selling a line of video glasses.

Snapchat’s Wild New Specs Won’t Share Google Glass’ Fate

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Musical.ly, the lip synching app/social networkish thing, is a big hit with teens. If your teen or tween is into singing, she is probably on it, and that may be a good thing. It turns out that the record companies are fans too, as they are using it to surface new, young talent.

Teen-Focused App Musical.ly Is the Music Industry’s New Secret Weapon

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pepePepe the Frog is an internet meme that has been around since 2005. Pepe is harmless if sometimes snarky, and largely minds his own business or gets in to others’ on 4chan and less frequently Reddit. Pepe was recently co-opted as the mascot of some alt right supporters of Donald Trump, and now the Anti-Defamation League has added Pepe to its list of hate symbols. What a strange election this has been. Feels bad man.

Pepe the Frog Meme Listed as a Hate Symbol

Added bonus: There’s a man with a Pepe tattoo on his hand, and he’s not loving this.

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Since its beginning, messaging app WhatsApp has been known for protecting the privacy of its users. Last month, they tried to quietly announce that they will begin sharing user data with parent company Facebook. Permission creep continues, and German regulators have a real problem with that.

Germany orders Facebook to stop collecting data on WhatsApp users

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A rookie cop in Pennsylvania set some kind of record this week – she lost two jobs with one Snapchat post.

Cop loses 2 jobs for Snapchat pic with racial slur

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“One-third of all kids appear on social media within the first twenty four hours of their lives.” That might not be a great idea for all kids.
The Darker Side of Posting Your Baby’s Pics on Social Media
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Did we miss an interesting story? Please let us know.

 

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Subtweeting Still Isn’t Cool – Penn State Edition

If you’re the parent of a college freshman – and I am one – you probably know that the first few weeks or months of a school year with a new roommate can be a tricky time.

A story playing out this week at Penn State, and on Twitter, is a cautionary tale. It’s an unfortunate situation even if the girls involved don’t understand that, and the fact that it is being aired publicly on social media is cringe worthy to say the least.

At the center of the story are two female roommates who weren’t getting along. One of the students (Roommate A) allegedly had whooping cough (unfortunate) and smoked weed in the room (not a good idea) when the other was away. Roommate B was upset, and had been subtweeting negative comments about Roommate A. Roommate A found the comments, printed them out and posted them on the door of their dorm room.

PSU-subtweets

B ( or a friend) tore the comments off the door then the RA tried to get involved. Roommate A posted the message publicly on Twitter, of course.

psu-ra-message

B tried to explain herself to A via text message, and of course A posted the messages on Twitter.

psu-texts

Some random online publication turned the incident into a story – College Girls’ Roommate Fight Gets So Bad It Goes Viral on Twitter

psu-articel-this

Roommate A kept fanning the flames throughout, retweeting her supporters and fighting with her haters on Twitter. There were plenty of people “watching” who are in both camps. A Twitter poll has almost 40,000 votes so far (an “L” is a loss, by the way):

twitter-poll-jessica

It looks like A or B will be moving to another room, and no doubt this will have died down by next week. Thanks to Twitter, the fight will live on permanently, and may even show up in a job interview somewhere down the road. Let’s review a few basic ideas:

  • Don’t smoke weed in the dorm, especially if your roommate is not okay with it
  • If you have a problem with someone close to you, discuss the problem face to face
  • Don’t subtweet, ever
  • When you’re in a hole, stop digging

 

 

 

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

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Are Your Social Media Posts Admissible in Court?

We came across the infographic below this week, and thought it was interesting in part because we hadn’t seen a similar analysis laid out before. It addresses whether social media posts – even private messages – are admissible in court.

The things teens post online sometimes go bad in a big way – cyberbullying, school threats, child porn or revenge porn – even if the original post/content was a joke or shared between to consenting parties.

courtroomWe aren’t fans of using scare tactics with our kids, but believe that we need to clearly explain the risks when we are talking to our kids about posting appropriately on social media. One of the risks in a worst-case scenario is that the police and the court system become involved, and then communications that were assumed to be private could become public in the courts.

If you’re under suspicion of a crime or are arrested and questioned, what you say may be used against you, but you have the right to remain silent after you’re arrested. What about information or ideas you’ve posted on social media? What does the law say about using that against you or in court cases? The short answer is—it depends.

From one court to another, from one case to another, social media information is treated very differently. Time will determine how that changes—how what law enforcement discovers in social media can be used in cases. Broad requests may not be approved, but specific copies of information may be required.

The folks at Vound Software looked into how court cases in New York State have played out. To understand the changing nature of the law and social media, use the details in this graphic below for help.

The bottom line is that even a post from a private social media account or a private message on Facebook could end up in court. All social media users, teens included, should act accordingly.

The Irony of Privacy Settings: Can Lawyers Use Social Media Posts in a Court of Law?

The Irony of Privacy Settings: Can Lawyers Use Social Media Posts in a Court of Law?
Source: Vound Software: https://www.vound-software.com/blog/the-irony-of-privacy-settings

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

What Are Your Social Media Profiles Telling Recruiters?

There is a brand new survey out of human resources technology firm Jobvite, and it focuses on how recruiters are doing their job right now.

If you’re in college and getting ready to graduate, or a student looking for part time work, it’s important to focus on what recruiters are focused on. The survey has a lot of valuable data for young job seekers.

First some good news – the job market is better this year than it was last year. Good candidates are in demand, salaries are up and candidates have more flexibility to negotiate a higher salary.

Beyond your degree and your work and life experience, there is one area that you can focus on now to increase your chances of being hired into a job you want – that is your social media profiles and activity.

social recruitingSocial Recruiting

One important area of increased focus this year for hiring managers is social recruiting. If recruiters are spending more time, money and effort on using social media to find candidates, you can bet they’re spending more time finding and evaluating candidate social media profiles.

What specifically are they focused on? When it comes to your social media images and activity, the following can be red flags:

Typos – We hope there are no typos on your resume, but the survey shows that 72% of recruiters view typos – even on social media – as a negative.

Marijuana – It still illegal in most of the country, and some folks have a moral objection. 71% of recruiters don’t want to see it. If you’re in the job market, leave the party pictures off your profiles.

Oversharing – You might be surprised to see this, but if you’re constantly posting online, a recruiter may wonder whether you’re going to be on your phone all day when at work. If you’re sharing too much personal information, that might call into question your judgment or discretion. If you’re posting too much information about a prior job or employer, especially if it’s negative, that’s definitely a no-no.

Alcohol – Although most people drink at least occasionally, 47% of recruiters take a dim view of it being posted on your public social media. Act accordingly.

Selfies – Posting the odd selfie is no big deal, but be careful not to post too many of them. 18% of recruiters still view selfies as a negative.

Your public social media profiles and activity are becoming an extension of your resume. We’re not all the way there yet, but we’re quickly moving in that direction. Whatever you post on social media, you run the risk that a recruiter will think that’s the real you.

 

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Infographic: Keeping Up With Generation App

The National Cyber Security Alliance conducted two surveys this summer that looked at how teens use technology and their parents’ attitude toward it. The survey results reinforce some themes that occur frequently in our research:

  1. Almost 40% of teens surveyed report being the victim of cyberbullying in the last 12 months
  2. The number of parents who say they have rules for how their kids use technology is far higher than the number of teens who acknowledge or follow those rules
  3. Parents are confident that their kids will report online incidents that make them scared or uncomfortable, whereas only 32% of teens say that they will go to parents if scared
  4. 87% of parents feel very or somewhat confident that they can help teens effectively if problems arise

The survey covered teens aged 12 – 17. Regarding number 2 above, we think that what is happening is that early on when kids start using the internet, parents do set some ground rules. A few years later (or sooner), teens know how to use the internet and the rules set by parents are ancient history. Updates and frequent conversations are needed.

You can see the full infographic below. For more information go to StaySafeOnline.org.

infographic-9-26Source: National Cyber Security Alliance

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 9/23/2016

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For the most part, The Guardian does a good job covering some of the more nuanced aspects of social media. That being said, this article baffles us. They found a handful of millennials who have quit social media entirely and are happy with their decision. If they were unhappy, they would have gone back to social media.

Does quitting social media make you happier? Yes, say young people doing it

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Chances are at least some of the news that your teen consumes is delivered via social media. Facebook has acknowledged that some of that news is fake, and they are taking steps to clean it up.

Facebook to roll out tech for combating fake stories in its Trending topics

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Yik Yak downloadsYik Yak, the once anonymous local chat app, is dying – even at colleges. RIP.

College students have totally lost interest in Yik Yak — and it could kill the app

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We don’t see how the word needs another messaging app. Google created one anyway, and it uses AI to write your messages for you. The previews of Allo featured pretty lofty privacy protections. Not so fast.

Google weakens Allo privacy promises

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“Mooning” is a new term for ignoring someone’s text messages by turning on the “do not disturb” function on your phone for that person. I think my teens have been mooning me.

Is someone texting you too much? Just moon them.

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A Belmont University student made a post on Snapchat Monday that was very inappropriate and very racist. By Tuesday, he was expelled. Friendly reminder: Snapchat posts aren’t necessarily private, and don’t always disappear.

Belmont removes student after racist post goes viral

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Twitter’s algorithm, if you have it turned on, shows you the tweets you are most likely to be interested in first. If there are tweets that you don’t like, and want to see less of, Twitter is rolling out a setting for that too.

Twitter Asks You To Identify Tweets You Don’t Like So It Can Hone Its Algorithm

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A Massachusetts legislator has introduced a bill that will require the FBI to track cases of online harassment of individuals. Will tracking the number of cases of online stalking and abuse lead to better behavior? Tough to say.

Will tracking digital harassment help defend against internet trolls?

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Creepy clowns are taking to Facebook and threatening to show up at schools and terrorize kids. Really.

Clown Facebook post, warnings put more Alabama schools on lockdown

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Did we miss an interesting story? Please let us know.

 

NEW: For a limited time the ThirdParent audit is FREE (normally $49). You can cancel at any time. Sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Survey: Twitter Falls Short for Abuse Victims

“Safety is our top priority”. That’s what Twitter says, but it has never really felt that way.

Twitter logoI don’t get abused on Twitter very often, and when I do it doesn’t bother me. I just move on. For many other users, the reality is very different. The problem that I see is that the harassment, when reported to Twitter, is often not acted on, or worse, Twitter deems the act to be “not harassment”, or something.

I was encouraged last month to see a very good journalist from Buzzfeed, Charlie Warzel, reaching out to the community on Twitter to get feedback on people’s experience with abuse on Twitter. The survey got over 2,700 responses, and the results should be a wakeup call to Twitter. It’s the kind of network where, if that is what you’re into, you can end up spending hours a day on it. This needs to be fixed.

According to the article, a typical (or not atypical) response from Twitter to a report of harassment is: “We’ve investigated the account and reported tweets for violent threats and abusive behavior, and have found that it’s currently not violating the Twitter rules.”

Of the 2,700 respondents, 1,530 reported having experienced some specific type of abuse on Twitter. What types of abuse were reported (in order of frequency):

  • Misogynistic language
  • Homophobic or trans phobic slurs
  • Incitement to suicide
  • Racist slurs
  • Death threats
  • Rape threats
  • Tweets disclosing personal information
  • Other

There is not a lot of gray area in a number of the categories above.

Twitter abuseAccording to the survey, Twitter’s response when abuse is reported:

  • Twitter did nothing – 75%
  • Twitter determined that the incident was not abuse – 18%
  • Twitter deleted the abusive account – 3%
  • Twitter sent a warning to the abuser – 1%
  • In less that 1% of the reported instances, a rep from Twitter reached out to the victim

Twitter is a space designed for conversation and free speech, and not necessarily a safe space. Twitter’s policy appears to favor free speech over protecting users, but we hope we’re nearing a tipping point. We’ve seen plenty of examples of over the top abuse that are reported and not acted on. The survey and article point out several more. It’s time for this to change.

 

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Instagram’s New “Save Draft” Function Will Be a Hit With Teens

We wrote earlier this year about an Instagram phenomenon that we think is very interesting. The post, titled “What’s up with teens and semi-private Instagram accounts?”, laid out what we see as the typical way that teens (especially teen girls) manage and curate their Instagram presence.

For reference, here is a screen grab of the images we posted with that article:

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-7-55-38-am

Notice anything similar about those 3 accounts? Again, from that post in February:

  • The accounts are all set to private
  • The accounts all follow a large number of accounts
  • The accounts all have a large number of followers
  • The accounts have posted precious few photos to their network

Bullet four is about to go to a whole new level. This week, Instagram introduced a “save draft” function.

From what we’ve seen, heard and read in research, until now the 20 or so photos that teen girls keep in their Instagram feed are there based on a number of factors including how many likes to posts gets in the few minutes immediately after being posted. Another obvious factor determining the whether the picture stays or goes is how good/pretty/amazing it is in the opinion of the poster.

With drafts, we expect to see (not “see” per se, but you get it) girls agonizing over the right filter/caption/effect and whether the photo is worthy of a shot at permanence before ultimately posting the pic, or discarding it before it ever gets posted.

That’s not good or bad, it’s just the way it is. Lots of frivolous photos get posted to Snapchat, then disappear (kind of, maybe). Other photos may get posted to the teen’s other Instagram account. A lot of teens treat their Instagram feed more like a museum that a social network. It looks like that will continue.

 

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Looking for Teens to Take Our Cyberbullying Survey

Here’s a shout out to our newest intern Julia. Julia has been working with us since the beginning of the summer. She is a junior at Montgomery High School here in New Jersey, is an excellent student and her interests include computer science and marching band.

no-cyberbullyingThe latest project that she has been working on is a new teen cyberbullying survey.

The rise of cyberbullying, and the increased interest in it, has tracked closely with the rise of cell phones and social media. There have been dozens of cyberbullying surveys over the last few years, but things are changing so quickly with the internet and social media that we are very interested in seeing some current data. Some of those surveys have included in their sample both parents and teens. We wanted to do one that just focuses on teens, and that’s exactly what we have here.

If you are a teen, we would love to have you fill out the survey. It just takes a few minutes. If you are a parent, please ask your teens to fill it out, or share it with friends.

THIRDPARENT CYBERBULLYING SURVEY

We’ll be back with a summary of the full results next month. If you want to see the results, look for the blog post by following us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter below.

 

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 9/16/2016

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A 14-year old girl from Northern Ireland had a nude picture fall into the wrong hands – the result of extortion according to her claim. The photo was posted to a shame page on Facebook, and then reposted repeatedly. She is now suing Facebook for unspecified damages, claiming that Facebook’s failure to quickly take down the original picture has caused her significant pain and suffering. Facebook claims it took the picture down as soon as it was reported. This could set an interesting precedent.

14-year-old sues Facebook over nude photo posted to “shame” site

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This case in Austria also has the potential to set an interesting precedent: An 18-year old is suing her parents over the 500+ photos of her they’ve posted on Facebook over the years. Her father has repeatedly refused to take them down. She has a good case, we think.

Daughter, 18, sues her parents for posting embarrassing photographs of her as a child on Facebook
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Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.27.22 AMMichael Jackson’s daughter Paris took to Instagram and posted a series of videos decrying cyberbullying. She says that she left social media for two years over the abuse and even attempted suicide. Say something nice online today.

Paris Jackson Speaks out Against Cyberbullying, Defends Justin Bieber

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The iPhone is the dominant device among teens from what we can see. Now that iOS 10 has arrived, there are some changes to the security settings that all users should take a look at.

Five security settings in iOS 10 you should immediately change

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Is there a cause that your teen is passionate about? Does she post about it on social media? Good news – a new study has found that online activism really is making a difference.

An Annenberg study found that social media activism is way more powerful than you think

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The back to school playbook on social media is in full effect: Week 1 – school bomb threats. Week 2 – schoolyard fight videos posted on Twitter and Instagram fight accounts.

Disturbing videos of teenagers fighting posted on social media

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This week a New Jersey school was forced to have a delayed opening and postponed back-to-school night after a series of school shooting threats were posted to Facebook. Plot twist 1: The person making the posts was not quickly apprehended. Plot twist 2: The police claim that it was not a student who made the threats.

Threats to ‘shoot up’ school not coming from students, officials say

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Did we miss an interesting story? Please let us know.

 

NEW: For a limited time the ThirdParent audit is FREE (normally $49). You can cancel at any time. Sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.