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Should Kids Under 13 Be Allowed to Use Facebook?

Living 2012/06/05 17:00:00
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It's well known that Facebook does not permit users under 13 years old -- and that many kids find a way to use the social networking site anyway. All that could change, though, now that Facebook is developing technology that would allow kids under 13 to use the site under parental supervision, The Wall Street Journal reports.



According to the WSJ, there are a few possibilities in the works. One would connect
children's accounts to their parents', allowing mom and dad to decide whom their kids can "friend" and what applications they can use.

It does seem incumbent upon Facebook to come up with something, since many kids lie about their ages to get accounts. Last year, Consumer Reports said 7.5 million children under the age of 13 were using the site, including more than five million under the age of 10. And last fall, a study sponsored by Microsoft Research found that 36 percent of parents were aware that their children joined Facebook before age 13, and many even helped their kids to do so.

But given that adults have privacy concerns about Facebook, is the site safe for kids? And could it make them vulnerable to predators and bullies?
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Top Opinion

  • Bob P. Clarkson 2012/06/05 20:04:22
    No
    Bob P. Clarkson
    +23
    Adults have no concept of security on the Internet and children of all ages almost universally trust that everyone is as "nice and good" as they are. My now 15 year old granddaughter got on Facebook at 13, and even though her Dad took her off Facebook, she got on under another name using a friend's computer.
    Grandpa has been playing with computers since we were using punch cards, and even though I no longer write programs, I stumble my way through the computer world.
    I established an account as a fifteen year old boy with pictures I borrowed from a neighbors son, then "stalked" her and convinced her to meet me at a mall - it was really safe that way. When she walked in to the food court, she was surprised to see me and acted like she wanted me to disappear before "Steve" got there.
    I showed her the file on her and "Steve" and she was P.O.'d I had spied on her.
    I showed her where her school was, where her best girlfriends lived, where she lived and gave her my "On-line Security" talk.
    She listened as a know-it-all 13 year old listens, which to say is, not at all, and continued to hammer me about "spying" on her. I logged on to Facebook with my laptop, and when I signed in to my Steve persona, she got very quiet. Then I retold her what I had done and showed her how "unsafe" th...

















    Adults have no concept of security on the Internet and children of all ages almost universally trust that everyone is as "nice and good" as they are. My now 15 year old granddaughter got on Facebook at 13, and even though her Dad took her off Facebook, she got on under another name using a friend's computer.
    Grandpa has been playing with computers since we were using punch cards, and even though I no longer write programs, I stumble my way through the computer world.
    I established an account as a fifteen year old boy with pictures I borrowed from a neighbors son, then "stalked" her and convinced her to meet me at a mall - it was really safe that way. When she walked in to the food court, she was surprised to see me and acted like she wanted me to disappear before "Steve" got there.
    I showed her the file on her and "Steve" and she was P.O.'d I had spied on her.
    I showed her where her school was, where her best girlfriends lived, where she lived and gave her my "On-line Security" talk.
    She listened as a know-it-all 13 year old listens, which to say is, not at all, and continued to hammer me about "spying" on her. I logged on to Facebook with my laptop, and when I signed in to my Steve persona, she got very quiet. Then I retold her what I had done and showed her how "unsafe" the Internet was, again.
    Since a number of her friends had "friended" me, and some friends of the real Steve, kind of computer specialists, I showed her how easier it was to track her, and them, using Facebook and Google Earth.
    She was still put out with grandpa when she left, but two days later she took down her Facebook account - and so did two of her friends. She now gives security lectures to her friends that want to know why she doesn't have a Facebook page.

    She now has unlimited minutes on her iPhone, and actually likes it better than Facebook. I'm sure she and all of her friends will have arthritic thumbs when they get older, and I'm sure they will figure out something else that is probably just as dangerous, but parents and grandparents can only deal with what we know.
    Oh, it took her only a week to forgive me, but when she told her dad why she took down her Facebook page, he was bent out of shape for about a month for sticking my nose in. It was "his job" to guide and guard her through to adulthood. When my quick statement about I did what he would have to have hired someone else to do and didn't charge him for my work finally sunk in.
    I was guilty that I usurped his parental job, but I've always been a Type A, so it never even dawned on me to consult him - I just did it to protect my granddaughter.
    I'm not sure I would do it much different, anyway.










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Opinions

  • Mrs Reckless 2012/06/06 00:20:50
    No
    Mrs Reckless
    No, but they will do anyway. It's a fact of life, age restrictions DO NOT WORK. Iv done everything that has an age restriction, apart from sex, when I was under that age. Every kid does whether the parents know it or not. Yes, it's not safe there are pedo's everywhere, but that doesn't mean that parents should lock their kids in the house, wrap them in bubble wrap and never let them outside where they might get hurt.

    Now, I have NO common sence WHATSOEVER. But I am smart enough not to give out personal details, and parents should trust their kids, but still keep an eye on what they're doing. Not looking over their shoulder every second they're on the Internet, just once or twice a fortnight check what sites they've been on, who they've been talking to and what they've been saying. Or that's what I'd do.
  • Monique Is Unique 2012/06/06 00:16:55
    Yes
    Monique Is Unique
    Kids often dont have phones, so they have facebook to talk to their friends that live far away.
  • Chelsea 2012/06/06 00:08:18
    No
    Chelsea
    Cuz they are idiots with it..
  • AriSagan 2012/06/06 00:03:31
    Yes
    AriSagan
    I meant to put no!!!
  • Níl mé leat 2012/06/06 00:02:16
    No
    Níl mé leat
    I still think Facebook needs to go back to what it was when I first joined, college sutdents and faculty only.
  • joe 2012/06/05 23:51:30
    Yes
    joe
    You can't pad the world for kids but you can teach them how to live in it as safely as possible. Teaching a kid to recogenize social traps and undesirable traits in others is a far better alternative to prohibiting participation in social media. The big joke in my community is that to keep their daughters safe and out of harms way parents are driving their little girls to their friends houses where the get high, have sex and ultimately get pregnant.
  • ★misfit★ 2012/06/05 23:47:06
    Yes
    ★misfit★
    +1
    Why? Because it's incredibly easy for an under 13-year-old to lie about their age and make a Facebook. The no-under-13-rule was completely useless. It's up to the PARENTS to make sure their kids are safe, as Facebook itself can't do it.
  • Inquisitve Kat 2012/06/05 23:30:02
    No
    Inquisitve Kat
    Actually, yes, in the case that (like this suggests) the child's account is linked to the parent's account.
    And really, I'm not against children being on Facebook in some cases... I have a cousin who created accounts for her children that are entirely private and only shared with family... and they are only allowed to use Facebook when she is sitting right beside them and watching.
  • ktyxes 2012/06/05 23:19:33
    No
    ktyxes
    We ready did this on yahoo
  • lolitalovely 2012/06/05 23:06:40
    Yes
    lolitalovely
    +1
    I don't like the idea of 13 year olds stupid blabber or their lack of any concept of privacy, but I see no way to stop them. I was on myspace when I was 12. My mom hadn't allowed it, yet It happen at least once a week. kids lie about their age a lot on those sites so any restriction would be useless. In the end, that kid isn't our problems and by being on a social networking site they aren't impending on our rights. That leads me to say It's stupid to restrict that kind of thing.
  • RoyJLores 2012/06/05 22:59:10
    No
    RoyJLores
    Facebook as well any other social network should only be used by minors under strict parental supervision.
  • Kigan 2012/06/05 22:57:59
    No
    Kigan
    Facebook is bad enough - immature enough - already.

    Haven't we already dealt with enough lack of parenting involving kids getting hurt on Facebook? Now just allow it so it can happen that much more?
  • Watermusicranger 2012/06/05 22:46:51
    No
    Watermusicranger
    +2
    Could be Scary.

    scary seal
  • Autumn 2012/06/05 22:38:51
    Yes
    Autumn
    The only reason my friends got Facebooks in the 5th grade was because it was the "mature" thing to do. If they make a "Kiddiebook," Facebook will officially be unpopular with preteens. Reverse psychology.
  • sally 2012/06/05 22:36:44
    No
    sally
    They don't have the sense of responsibility and common sense when it comes to "Friending" someone on Facebook. For some reason they will friend anyone that looks around their age, friend circle, or attractive and not even meet them once.

    I knew this girl who had about 500 friends and I'm pretty sure only about 20% of them were people she actually knew. Someone stole her pictures and photoshopped them and she's shut the account down and created a new one because of the incident.
  • Diana 2012/06/05 22:27:39
    No
    Diana
    It's too young.
  • amelia 2012/06/05 22:27:14
    No
    amelia
    They have better things to do with their lives, I'm 19 now when I was that age I didn't need to rely on BEBO (the then popular social network for ppl) for contact, I met people instead!
  • The Elitist Libtard SodaJerk 2012/06/05 22:19:24
    Yes
    The Elitist Libtard SodaJerk
    +2
    There are many "adults" on Facebook that act as if they were under the age of 13
  • Pronatalist Pronatalist 2012/06/05 22:14:45
    Yes
    Pronatalist Pronatalist
    +3
    Of course YES. Why are people so quick to ban everything, step on their neighbor's freedom, use government violence and threat of kidnapping people and putting them into cages (prisons), merely for disagreeing with government?

    The obvious answer, is that children of age 13, are legally minors, and that their parents are responsible for them. That means THE PARENTS GET TO DECIDE.

    Only a moron living under a rock, thinks that children don't use computers.

    I had thought that it's a good idea, to put the family computer into a public area, where parents can easily watch or "snoop" on what their child is doing on the internet. However, in this fast-changing age of wi-fi internet of (highly portable) tablets and cellphones and iPods, I guess that theory may be due for an update?

    I do hope that more parents and children could work harder on a more trusting relationship, such that children would readily bring any internet "problems" to the attention of their parents? "Mom, my internet friend just dumped me. Boo hoo."
  • Kathleen O'Malley 2012/06/05 22:08:41
    No
    Kathleen O'Malley
    But you can't stop it. A computer doesn't say, 'hey u, r u really 13 or up?'
  • ricorso Kathlee... 2012/06/05 23:12:16
    ricorso
    +1
    Yes, you can stop it... if mom and dad would only use that ancient art.... damn, what was it called? Oh yeah, parenting!
  • the judgebigdogeagle-~PWCM~JLA 2012/06/05 22:07:32
    No
    the judgebigdogeagle-~PWCM~JLA
    Too Much Adult things on FB.
  • angela.horne.378 2012/06/05 22:02:11
    Yes
    angela.horne.378
    +1
    i think maybe internet crime should be easy/ier to stop, criminals nabbed, facebook/police can trace peados
  • jackie 2012/06/05 21:59:02
    No
    jackie
    +1
    didnt you guys already ask this? o_O
  • Samantha 2012/06/05 21:51:25 (edited)
    No
    Samantha
    Either way it wont change anything! its too easy for children they simply change their birthdate and it done their in easy. and parent supervised sites would never work kids these days are very very different!
  • FUS RO DAH! 2012/06/05 21:50:37
    Yes
    FUS RO DAH!
    +1
    They are going to use facebook anyway
  • jniss 2012/06/05 21:43:12
    No
    jniss
    HELL NO!!!!!!!
    Kids need to be doing other stuff rather than sitting in front of yet another screen.
  • starlight 2012/06/05 21:34:19
    No
    starlight
    +1
    i have a facebook and its not all that great i hate it
  • VenomHalos 2012/06/05 21:28:01
    Yes
    VenomHalos
    +1
    It depends on the person, I suppose. But, either way, parents should not be given access.
  • Inquisi... VenomHalos 2012/06/05 23:37:22 (edited)
    Inquisitve Kat
    Should NOT be given access? I disagree entirely... children are a parent's responsibility!
    Anyone who would let their child, at 12 or younger, have unsupervised internet access is a reckless parent. There's a time and a place for privacy... there are safer ways to allow your 12 year old some privacy.
  • VenomHalos Inquisi... 2012/07/05 20:33:40
    VenomHalos
    It's called giving your child an education. If they know what the world is like and are smart, then it shouldn't be an issue.
  • Inquisi... VenomHalos 2012/07/05 21:28:08 (edited)
    Inquisitve Kat
    It doesn't matter how smart or mature a child is, they're still a child and therefore the responsibility of their parents. In fact, the smarter they are, the worse it might be for them to be unsupervised, since the smarter they are the more likely they'll be to think they can act like an adult or get all around the site. You give the child the education by being involved with their online life and demonstrating what is acceptable online behaviour and what is not. Twelve or under is far too young for privacy. If you're not involved, the child is learning for themselves... not necessarily the best education.
  • VenomHalos Inquisi... 2012/07/21 01:40:34
    VenomHalos
    Not really. Personally, my parents were never all that involved in what I did, but I was perfectly fine. I was/am smart enough to know what is safe and what isn't. And it isn't difficult to teach other children this. Educate them on the what is and what isn't, and they should understand.
    Honestly, whenever my parents DID try to become involved in my "online life", I didn't allow them. And I can't imagine that there is no one else in the world as stubborn as I am, so this would probably be the case with many others as well.
  • Inquisi... VenomHalos 2012/07/21 20:17:17
    Inquisitve Kat
    When I lived with my ex and her daughter, if she didn't 'let' us (which, for awhile, she didn't) see her online activity, she didn't get to go online. Sure, we couldn't be with her every minute of the day, so I'm positive she got online at friends' homes, but their parents knew she wasn't allowed online, too, so any time she did get wasn't a lot of time. She was smart enough to know what was and wasn't safe, but that wasn't what we were concerned about... we were more concerned that she would do what she wanted anyway, thinking she was too clever to get in any trouble (either by chatting with the wrong person or by downloading a virus onto the computer that we paid for). When she had the maturity to get herself a job and buy her own computer, she got to go online on her own terms.
    I'm sorry that your parents were irresponsible... they should have forced involvement, from the beginning, but I'm glad things are working out okay for you. Some children are mature enough to be online by themselves, but that's a rarity and a chance parents shouldn't take.
  • VenomHalos Inquisi... 2012/07/24 20:27:16
    VenomHalos
    My parents weren't "irresponsible", they just knew when not to push boundaries too far. One of the few things I'm grateful to them for. Privacy is a wonderful thing, and everyone deserves to have it.
  • Inquisi... VenomHalos 2012/07/25 03:26:38
    Inquisitve Kat
    To some extent, I agree. I mean, I'd never read my child's diary... but, until they were a certain age, I would monitor online activity...
    I think I'm so paranoid, because the internet started coming in households when I was around 12... so I was on it, constantly, without supervision... I learned way too much and became way more mature than I should have been... I lost so much childhood and innocence, in my knowledge. I think kids should be kids... it's something you regret, later in life.
  • Whatsername 2012/06/05 21:27:17
    Yes
    Whatsername
    +1
    only because i got one when i was 12. but kids were are 10 and under who have them really shouldnt. i never even used the computer when i was that age. there was a thing called "playing outside"
  • Kuruptsoul 2012/06/05 21:22:03
    No
    Kuruptsoul
    +1
    The things I post would shock them for life
  • opa62 2012/06/05 21:19:17
    No
    opa62
    +1
    Absolutely not- too vulnerable. Parents can't always supervise properly.
  • kmay 2012/06/05 21:07:43
    No
    kmay
    Get outside and have fun!

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