Youth group’s poster campaign warns of Facebook dangers

Concerns on cyberspace bullying and other negative aspects in using the social media site, Facebook, were highlighted this week at the launch of a special poster campaign initiated by the Letterkenny Youth Information Centre and the Donegal Youth Service.

Concerns on cyberspace bullying and other negative aspects in using the social media site, Facebook, were highlighted this week at the launch of a special poster campaign initiated by the Letterkenny Youth Information Centre and the Donegal Youth Service.

Developed by the Centre’s Social Network Safety Group, the poster features top tips for using Facebook deploying a series of cleverly conceived cartoons to get the message across.

Launching the campaign at the Donegal Youth Service offices on Tuesday, local councillor Dessie Larkin described Facebook as a wonderful tool, but warned of the “dangers” involved in using or misusing such sites.

“Some people don’t realise that what goes in there goes in there forever - that it’s in Cyberspace for ever more,” he said. A good story on the site could, he maintained, be turned into a bad one.

Another negative aspect was the issue of Cyberspace bullying which he said was an ongoing problem.

Facebook was, said cllr. Larkin, an “absolutely fantastic” mode of communications and there were many positives but he repeated his warning of the dangers involved.

Where job seekers were concerned, he said employers could check Facebook accounts before the interview process.

Those dangers were echoed by Youth Information officer, Eoin McDaid who referred to the “more malicious aspects” which needed to be kept under control.

Facebook was, he indicated, a “huge source of information and fun” but it was important to highlight the potential negatives involved. “Be yourself on-line and not somebody else,” he advised.

The Youth Service poster calls on Facebook users to use a safe, unpredictable password, to only add people known to them and to be careful what went public and not to air private problems. It also urges account holders not to respond to anyone seeking an argument and not to be afraid to report anything.

M.C. at this week’s launch was Youth Development Officer, John Ruddy who also welcomed the initiative.