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Facebook debuts a 'parent portal' to stop online harassment

Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be internet trolls.
Andrew Tarantola, @terrortola
December 13, 2016
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Even ignoring the past few months' deluge of fake news or its ongoing inability to enforce its own community guidelines, Facebook has long had a problem with harassment, trolling and other unscrupulous behavior. Children have died due to the abuse they endure on the social network. That's why Facebook on Tuesday debuted its new Parents Portal, part of the site's Safety Center, to help adults help their kids not be complete tools while online.

The portal includes a section on the basic workings of the site -- like how to sign up, add friends and post content -- as well as a listing of common terms and user actions. Though, honestly, it reads more like something a teen would show their tech-phobic relatives because the family decided it'd be cute if Grandma got on Facebook for her last Christmas.

It also includes a section of condescending "parenting tips" like "let your child know that the same rules apply online as apply offline" or "try to be a good role model" and "trust yourself". Normally, this practice is known as "not raising your kids to be obnoxious monsters" but these are the times in which we live and people apparently need to be reminded.

The Expert Advice section, on the other hand, is actually quite helpful. It includes external links to a number of family safety and advocacy groups around the world -- a number of which helped develop the portal's content. Of course, the easiest way to ensure that your kid doesn't have to deal with abuse on Facebook is to simply not let them have a Facebook account. Besides, all the kids are on the Snapchats anyway.

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