In our modern world, Facebook can be a very scary place for parents. Children have been exposed to inappropriate images, they have been victims of cyberbullying, stalked, and the targets of child predators. Recently, Facebook has been working to be a leader in the industry to protect our children. And increasingly, we hear of stories that have happy endings.
Non-profits working with missing, exploited, and abducted children have been using Facebook to share Amber Alerts, to increase public awareness, and to gather volunteers, support, and donors for their organizations.
For agencies that are providing community education, Facebook has resources tailored for parents, teens, educators, and law enforcement on their Family Safety Center page. Resources include how to use settings for privacy, digital citizenship, social responsibility, and how to report suspicious or illegal behavior.
We know that teens who are bullied are at a higher risk of depression and suicide, but they are also at risk of becoming runaways. Once on the streets, they often become the victims of exploitation and sex trafficking. The prevention of bullying is an important aspect of all agencies that work with youth and families. We’ve all heard the stories where Facebook was used to bully, but it’s important we let families and teens know it can be a place of support as well. This video was recently shared as part of a session Facebook presented at the Crimes Against Children Conference in Dallas in August. In the video, a school rallied behind a soccer player who was being bullied for missing a goal during a game.
There are many great examples of how Facebook is being used for good in our communities on the Facebook Stories page. It’s a good reminder to utilize our media resources, in any way we can, to protect our kids.
Here is an excerpt from the Positive Exposures website describing what they do:
Positive Exposures works with nonprofit organizations to create media content that supports their amazing work.
We match worthy organizations with individual donors, corporate contributions and grants to support media projects that will take these organizations’ communications to the next level. Positive Exposures takes the burden of telling a compelling and effective story off of a nonprofit’s shoulders, so the organization has more time to focus on what it does best.