Local tech expert weighs in on Facebook safety in light of Congressional hearing | News


SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)–Some local residents and parents tell Western Mass News they have reservations about using Facebook a day after a former Facebook employee told members of Congress that the social media giant’s platforms hurt children.

“I wouldn’t see them using Facebook in the future. I wouldn’t want them to. They don’t seem to care about children,” said Cassandra McPhee.

While McPhee’s three children are too young to use Facebook now, she does not want them using it as they get older, citing safety concerns.

“I don’t feel a need for my kids to use the internet. Social media-wise. I wouldn’t like it,” said McPhee.

Faith Vuyanzi also does not feel Facebook is safe.

“I have heard a lot of people who use it have their accounts hacked and it is never private,” said Vuyanzi.

With Facebook, a popular social media platform, how can parents protect their children?

Stan Prager, owner of GoGeeks Computer Rescue in East Longmeadow, told Western Mass News it all comes down to partnering with your children, monitoring their activity and controlling their social networking environment.

“First, you can get your kid’s login and Facebook account information. A lot of parents do it. You can go in and change the settings so children are not providing information predators can use,” said Prager.

Prager told us it is also important to monitor your children’s news feeds, who they follow and their friends.

“The biggest concern today is with kids being exposed to a lot of things that involve sexism, racism and the focus recently has been on eating disorders that they have been promoting,” said Prager.

But overall, Prager said the most effective way to protect your children is with open communication.

“I don’t think barring them from seeing this information is going to make a big difference as much as talking with your kids about what they are seeing,” said Prager.

Prager went on to say that he does not believe that regulating Facebook will solve the problem as another platform will always be developed in its place.

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