Friday, June 11, 2010

Facebook's approach to protecting minors: limit the access of search engines

Facebook does have a stance on protecting minors, as it says on its Privacy Control page that it will not allow search engines to index the information of minors until their 18th birthday, even if they’ve deliberately chosen “everyone” options. However Facebook says that “name, profile picture, gender and networks” can be indexed (the no-search “does not apply” to these three items) so their existence (by name) is available search engines. It’s conceivable that such exceptions could present issues for some families.

It’s an interesting concept in the “protection” of minors on the Internet – trying to limit what people can find out about them, as opposed to limiting what minors can view. I don’t recall that this view of things came up during the COPA trial.

In the early days of the Web, people used meta tags with keywords to get their pages indexed, but quickly that became rather unnecessary.

Coordinated post: BillBoushka blog, June 5.

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