Facebook – new poke application

The new facebook poke app raises a concern or two for me in regards to appropriate use. The app which is essentially facebook’s version of snapchat allows the user to do a number of interesting things.

Here is what they say about it in the 12 December news release

With the Poke app, you can poke or send a message, photo, or video to Facebook friends to share what you’re up to in a lightweight way. You can poke an individual friend or several at once. Each message expires after a specific time you’ve set, either 1, 3, 5 or 10 seconds. When time runs out, the message disappears from the app. ” source: http://newsroom.fb.com/News/559/Introducing-Poke-for-Mobile

So you can set a message that is only visible for a short space of time and then deletes. The message could be text, image or video. but wait there is more facebook will only hold the message and the encryption keys for the message for 2 days (source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/22/your-facebook-pokes-are-stored-for-two-days-then-their-encryption-keys-are-deleted/)

When working with students we ask them, if they are being repeatedly bullied to:

  • Talk with a trusted adult – be it the school Councillor, teacher etc
  • not delete the messages and hold them as evidence

Now they have a message that will appear for upto 10 seconds and then disappear/deleted, even the most tech savvy user is going to struggle to take a screen grab in that time. What’s more there is a 48 hour window to get facebook to recover the the poke. If you have ever tried to get facebook to do anything it is usually more than 48 hours.

Am I concerned, yes – this is a tool for the cyber bully.

I know concerns have been raised to about snapchat as a tool of choice in sexting. Does facebook really need to match it? They ahve attempted to match some of the terms and conditions of snapchat “When you send or receive messages using the Snapchat services, we temporarily process and store your images and videos in order to provide our services… we attempt to delete image data as soon as possible after the message is transmitted.” (Source: http://www.snapchat.com/# click on terms at the bottom of the page)


Well, what would I say to my students about this application?

  1. Don’t use it – this is suspect will fall on deaf ears but, it may raise some awareness
  2. if its abusive or inappropriate, unfriend the sender or is you are struggling to see who it is uninstall the app
  3. If its serious and/or persistent, talk to a trusted adult and move with speed to report the issue to facebook – Facebook – report a violation – http://www.facebook.com/help/263149623790594/

Resources and links:








Facebook – report a violation – http://www.facebook.com/help/263149623790594/

Digital citizenship resources – http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/Digital+Citizen+AUA

Follow me on Twitter - @achurches

Follow me on Twitter – @achurches


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