Advocacy groups like Help Save The Next Girl and Justice for Children Without Voices led the charge to have the “Teen Dating and Flirting” page taken down. “The teen dating sites on FB needs to be removed,” Help Save The Next Girl posted on Facebook on January 31.“Please help us locate and pressure Facebook to remove.“It helps with social anxiety kinda.” Parents’ great fear, of course, is that in many cases these groups increase teens’ anxieties — to say nothing of the potential harms they expose themselves to when they share pictures with strangers.
S., over 100 teens shared with us their personal experiences with social media and romantic relationships. During the focus groups, technology – and especially social media – often was described as an integral part of the courting process for teens.
These are some of the key themes and responses we heard during these data-gathering sessions. And I met a girl on there and she lived up in [location]. Half of all teens (50%) have let someone know they were interested in them romantically by friending them on Facebook or another social media site, and 47% have expressed their attraction by liking, commenting or otherwise interacting with that person on social media.
Throw strangers and sexting in the mix, and you have what the Washington Post calls the “full teen trifecta.” It all goes down in a public forum without moderation.
The page was shut down on Tuesday for a heartbreaking reason: On January 1, 2016, 13-year-old Nicole Lovell posted a selfie with the caption “cute or nah,” garnering a string of negative comments. The Facebook page may have played a role in the meeting of Lovell and her alleged killer, according to reports.
[The big myth Facebook needs everyone to believe] Not all of Facebook’s teen dating groups are inherently evil, however.
In the comments of the infamous “Teen Dating and Flirting,” a boy named Jordan has been pushing his alternative: a closed group he created called “Øffîčïåł :) Téëñš Øñłÿ Grøüp ,” which bans adults, bullying, self-harm and anything “RELATED TO SEXUAL STUFF.” It includes the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline in its sidebar, and promises to weed out anyone who’s older than 19.After the tragic loss of Lovell, there is no better time to make this clear: It is the responsibility of sites like Facebook to make sure that they are providing a safe forum for young people.Even before the page has fully loaded, the popular Facebook group “Teen Dating and Flirting” looks like a something straight out of some parental nightmare.The photos are much too graphic to post on here.” Why is it taking a tragedy to finally get Facebook to shut these pages down?Facebook says it’s not that simple: Unless posts are flagged, Facebook might never know they exist.(A Facebook spokesman did not immediately return The Washington Post’s request for explanation.) Many of the publicly viewable teen dating groups flagrantly flout the site’s community standards: Aside from the routine harassment and borderline hate speech, “Teen Dating and Flirting” is also littered with explicit pornography.