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Why should I teach my child to be careful about tagging on Facebook?

Shawn Edgington
Pediatrics
One of the most popular features on Facebook is tagging, which gives you the ability to identify and reference people in photos, videos, and notes. Sometimes that includes referencing friends, groups, or even events they are attending -- for instance, posting "Grabbing drinks with Samantha Jones," or "I'm heading to Starbucks -- anyone want a latte?"

Friends you and your teen tag within status updates will receive a notification and a Wall post linking them to your post. They will also have the option to remove tags of themselves from posts. Tagging is a difficult concept to grasp unless you have experienced it for yourself. If you have a Facebook account, have your teen tag you in one of their status updates, and you'll quickly understand the power of Facebook tag.

If your child gets "tagged" in an unfavorable photo, explain how important it is for them to stay in control of their image -- not someone else.

Consider This: A photo of your fifteen-year-old daughter in her bathing suit with a bunch of other bikini-wearing teenagers gets posted on a social media site by one of her friends . . . and your daughter gets tagged. It's a photo you would never want the world to see, but it's been posted for five days before it catches your attention. Having your daughter un-tag herself seems like a simple solution -- but you quickly realize that since her photo has been online for days on pages you don't control, you've lost the ability to stop people from sharing and labeling her picture across the Internet.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.