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Facebook to allow public posts by children

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The logo of the social network Facebook is reflected for a photo illustration in the pupil of an eye. (Photo by Joerg Koch/AP) The logo of the social network Facebook is reflected for a photo illustration in the pupil of an eye. (Photo by Joerg Koch/AP)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Facebook is loosening its privacy rules for its youngest users to allow them to share content more broadly.

While that means that some adults could start seeing their Facebook walls cluttered with teens talking about their weekend plans, it also raises safety concerns.

Facebook says the default settings for users 13-17 will be to only share with friends and friends of friends, but they will now be allowed to change the settings to make posts available to the general public.

In a post on its blog, Facebook says: "Teens are among the savviest people using social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard."

Facebook also says it will allow teens to turn on "Follow" so that their public posts can be seen in other users' news feeds.

Facebook says: "We take the safety of teens very seriously, so they will see an extra reminder before they can share publicly."

It has set up a Family Safety Center on its site with tools for parents, teachers, teens and law enforcement.

While Facebook remains the dominant social media tool in the United States, it is fighting to hold onto younger users who are turning to other social media platforms and video and photo sharing sites.

A recent Piper Jaffray survey showed that Twitter has overtaken Facebook as the most popular social network among US teens.

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