Alcohol Promotion on Facebook

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Marin Institute

The Marin Institute, which calls itself the “alcohol industry watchdog, ” calls for Facebook to ban all alcohol-related content until it can prevent it from being accessible to underage youth. Facebook, the largest online social networking site, started out as a site for college-age youth. However, over the past five years, it has expanded to everyone from preteens to senior citizens.

Researchers created two Facebook profiles to determine how accessible alcohol-related content is to minors on the site. One of the profiles was listed as a youth under the age of 21 and the other was an adult over 21.

The report noted that numerous alcohol-related advertisements, groups, fan pages, games and events were easily accessible to minors. Facebook does have restrictions on which members alcohol advertisers can target. However, rules for groups and fan pages, which can be created by anyone, are less restrictive. The report claims Facebook does not enforce its guidelines properly and suggests adding additional guidelines for other sources that promote or glamorize alcohol and partying and can be viewed by minors. Free.