Dad finds way to block Facebook 1 Sep 2012
Hyde’s 13-year-old daughter goes to log into Facebook and, wham! She gets a yellow-and-black screen instead. She’s been blocked, Face Block-ed.

Hyde, a Nelson software designer, has created an application that lets people block Facebook in their homes for an hour, with the press of a button.

“She hates it,” Hyde said.

Face Block was among the business ideas put to New Zealand entrepreneur and technology guru Rod Drury during a public event in Nelson a couple of weeks ago.

Hyde, who is hoping to have the application available to the public by Christmas, said the more he talked to other parents about reducing their children’s Facebook use, “the more extreme solutions I started to hear”.

These included unplugging the router and locking it in the car and changing their wi-fi passwords on a daily basis, “like you might do at a motel or campsite”.

“This is an easier way,” he said.

Face Block disables people’s Facebook access for an hour, and then it comes back on.

“You don’t have to do anything else. They will squeal for a few seconds and get on with their homework and then later in the day they can go back on Facebook – and if they abuse it, it can go off again.”

Hyde developed the software because he was sick of his daughter rushing through her meal to get back on to Facebook, or being on the social networking site on Saturday mornings instead of getting ready for netball.

He said he was not against Facebook – “I think it’s great”, but it had its place.