On Tuesday night, the board of commissioners voted unanimously —with Commissioner Jason Nelms absent — to approve a resolution letting Facebook know where Cherokee County stands on a proposed more-lax set of privacy settings.
Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens, who brought the resolution before the board, said he was inspired by a similar resolution passed by Fayette County in response to potential changes to Facebook’s privacy settings, which critics say could make teens more vulnerable.
Ahrens said Facebook has proposed changes that would allow teenagers to post status updates, video and pictures that could be viewed by anyone, even if the viewer isn’t a friend or friend of a friend. That could make teens much more “exposed to — putting it bluntly —predators,” the chairman said.
“It seems kind of irresponsible from someone like that organization,” Ahrens said. “I don’t know this is widely known.”
Before the vote Tuesday night, Ahrens said if the board approved the statement to Facebook, he planned to inform the Atlanta Regional Commission in hopes the ten-county board might make a similar statement and give the complaints more power.
Commission Harry Johnston told Ahrens he supported the resolution, even if Facebook might not be too concerned with what Cherokee County thinks.
“Mr. Chairman, I have some doubt that Facebook is going to be heavily swayed by our recommendation,” Johnston said. “But I would say if the ARC were to act on it in a similar way, it might become more meaningful. It certainly is a scary thought, really.”
In other action, the board of commissioners:
•Voted unanimously to accept a lease agreement with Cherokee Youth Basketball to use the Cherokee Charter Academy gymnasium for practice and games for the 2013-16 seasons;
•Unanimously approved a lease agreement with Cherokee Youth Basketball to use the Chris G. Hite Memorial Community Center gymnasium for practice and games for the 2013-2016 seasons;
•Voted unanimously to accept all public right of way, roads and appurtenant drainage structures in the Cherokee 75 Corporate Park; and
•Unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Woodstock Downtown Development Authority for use of the Cherokee Area Transportation System trolley during December.