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Young people block mum and dad on Facebook

More than a third of Facebook users under the age of 22 take steps to prevent their parents from seeing what they are up to on the social media site, a Norwegian study has found.

Young people block mum and dad on Facebook
Photo: Armin Weigel/DPA/Scanpix

38 percent of young people aged 13 to 15 admitted having blocked family members from accessing their Facebook activity, according to the study carried out at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

The results were similar for 18 to 22-year-olds, with 36 percent actively keeping family away from their Facebook friends, newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad reports.

Associate Professor Berit Skog, who carried out the research at the Department of Sociology and Political Science, said she was unsurprised by the findings.  

“Young people want to keep their parents out of Facebook. It’s possible they want to hide personal matters and they view Facebook as their own personal arena, which they don’t want their parents having anything to do with,” she told the newspaper.

“The themes they write about can include lovers, small talk, updates and pictures. They want their own space.”

A separate study conducted by Skog last year showed that just one in ten Facebook users over the age of 39 had chosen to reject family members.

“This may indicate that it’s less important for older people.”

She added that, in contrast to teenagers, many people under the age of 13 are friends with their parents on Facebook.

“This indicates that the parents have given their permission for them to be there even though you’re actually supposed to be over 13. In return, they get to see what their children are doing.”

Skog’s analysis of more than 1,300 Facebook users showed that 69 percent of people aged 18 to 22 had blocked people they didn’t like.

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RACISM

Norwegian anti-immigrant Facebook group confuses empty bus seats with ‘terrorists’

A Facebook group for Norwegians opposed to immigration was widely mocked after members apparently could not tell the difference between empty bus seats and burka-clad women.

Norwegian anti-immigrant Facebook group confuses empty bus seats with 'terrorists'
A Facebook user shared 23 screenshots of people's strange reactions to the empty seats. Screenshot: Facebook/Sindre Beyer
A user posted a photo of empty bus seats to the Facebook group Fedrelandet viktigst (roughly translated as ‘Fatherland first’) with the question “what do people think about this?” 
 
What they thought is apparently that they were seeing a bus full of burka-clad women and proof of the ‘Islamification’ of Norway. 
 
Member after member sounded off on how “frightening”, “tragic” and “scary” the scene was. Others decried that such a thing could happen in Norway (it didn’t) and worried that the phantom passengers could have “weapons and bombs” under their garments (they didn't because, well, there were no passengers). 
 
“It looks really scary, should be banned. You can never know who is under there. Could be terrorists with weapons,” one group user wrote. 
 
“Get them out of our country, those who look like collapsed umbrellas. Frightening times we are living in,” wrote another. 
 
“I thought it would be like this in the year 2050, but it is happening NOW!!!!” another alarmist chimed in. 
 
The responses from the closed group went viral after Facebook user Sindre Beyer posted screenshots of people’s incredulous reactions. 
 
“What happens when a photo of some empty bus seats is posted to a disgusting Facebook group and nearly everyone thinks they see a bunch of burkas?” he wrote in a post that was shared over 1,500 times and elicited widespread mockery of the Fedrelandet viktigst group.
 
“Just when I thought that nothing from that group could surprise me, they manage to actually surprise me,” a commenter wrote in response to Beyer’s post. 
 
“I think I passed the test because the first thing I saw was a group of Darth Vaders,” cracked another. 
 
“This is the best thing I’ve seen from blind racists since The Chappelle Show,” another user wrote in reference to the American comic’s infamous ’Clayton Bigsby’ skit. 
 
“I can definitely see the humour in it but with that being said I’m left shaking my head over the fact that people could react like that; sad,” wrote another. 
 
Beyer told Nettavisen that he has been following the group, which has nearly 13,000 members, for some time now. 
 
“I’m shocked by how much hate and fake news is spread there. The hatred that was displayed toward some empty bus seats really shows how much prejudices trump wisdom,” he said. 
 
“That’s why I shared the post so that more people can see what is happening in the dark corners of the web,” he added. 
 
The head of the Norwegian Centre Against Racism (Antirasistisk senter) told Nettavisen that the irrational response to six empty bus seats just goes to show how quickly people jump to conclusions. 
 
“People see what they want to see and what they want to see are dangerous Muslims. In a way it’s an interesting test of how quickly people can find confirmations of their own delusions,” Rune Berglund Steen said. 
 
Steen said the photo portrays a scene hardly ever seen in Oslo, no matter how you look at it. 
 
“The busses aren’t full of creepy Islamists and neither do they typically have so many empty seats,” he said.