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New AOL Service Tracks Kids' Social Media Usage


For the parents of a child who thinks being Facebook “friends” with Mom and Dad is “like, SO awkward,” there’s another way to keep tabs on her online comments, photos, and status updates.

Yesterday, AOL launched SafeSocial, a paid-monthly service that allows parents to monitor their child’s online interactions on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter -- without having to be a “friend.”

For $9.99-per-month, the tool can tell you where your child has online accounts, who is on her friends list, and will keep track of any photos posted by or tagged with your child. SafeSocial also sets up alerts to notify you if your kid posts comments involving red flag words -- including anything about sex, drugs, alcohol, violence, or bullying -- or when an adult or someone with whom she has no “friends” in common wants to connect with your child.

Here’s the catch: kids have to agree to be monitored. The program "requires open and honest dialog between the parent and the child," Holly Hawkins, AOL's director of Consumer Policy and Child Safety, told

Tell us -- Do you monitor your child’s use of Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking sites? How?