Though many people don’t know how to protect their own privacy on Facebook, the platform’s younger users are among its most vulnerable. That’s why Facebook has announced a partnership with the National PTA to organize more than 200 events around the country intended to educate parents and children about cyberbullying, online privacy, “digital literacy,” and more. The two organizations aim to host at least one event in all 50 states. In addition to educating children, the seminars will also serve as a place for parents to trade stories and learn how they can help protect their kids’ privacy online.
Facebook has received harsh criticism in the past for not doing enough to keep underage users off its platform; children under the age of 13 aren’t allowed to join, but many still do. But its young users that most need the company’s protection.
“We are really about getting those conversations going early,” Facebook’s head of global safety Antigone Davis said. “When your kids hit those teen years, it gets significantly harder because they separate their identity from yours.”
While these events have a noble intention, some parents will likely be uncomfortable with Facebook playing such a prominent role in their kids’ lives at all. For a company dealing with so many privacy woes of its own, inviting it into schools seems like a recipe for controversy.