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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

  • kitkat of katfish and just kat 2012/06/07 10:59:58
    No
    kitkat of katfish and just kat
    no because they will make firends they do'nt know
  • Joseph Mallery 2012/06/07 10:22:37
    No
    Joseph Mallery
    All kids really do on Facebook around that age is take stupid duckface photos anyway
  • vadenjulius 2012/06/07 09:50:37
    Yes
    vadenjulius
    +1
    I think when using Facebook its important to remember it is a social network for people socializing online as well as video chat, but everyone should have some right to speak to their friends or co-workers. Although Facebook has an effect as well being u never know who you could meet while being the network its self so it really could go both ways as a discussion for teens and adults too.
  • Tommo 2012/06/07 09:34:18
    No
    Tommo
    Too many perverts out there.
  • vadenju... Tommo 2012/06/07 09:51:19
    vadenjulius
    I agree
  • kitkat ... Tommo 2012/06/08 09:12:06
    kitkat of katfish and just kat
    same here
  • sweetedcherry2005 2012/06/07 09:23:19
    No
    sweetedcherry2005
    Ridiculous! It is known that the rules of social networks, especially Facebook are not allowed by the user is less than 18 tahun. I dissagree. I suppose that social networks such as the use of vehicles motor. I think that use or take advantage of social networking as we drive a motor vehicle. It must be admitted use or use social networks require a great responsibility to control it so as not to become 'addicted' especially in the social networking most of the people who spend a lot of words and symbols which is certainly not good for kids under 13 years.
  • Rachel Searvogel 2012/06/07 08:22:49
    No
    Rachel Searvogel
    It's kind of illegal.
  • Bob DiN 2012/06/07 07:03:16
    No
    Bob DiN
    I don't facebook is good for someone 63 or 23 or 33, etc etc.
  • Darth Mallory 2012/06/07 06:56:25
    No
    Darth Mallory
    +1
    the way i look at it is.....predetors are out there to get young children to destroy their lives before they even start, I am single, never married, no kids at all. If i had any children and they wanted to get on facebook, i wouldnt allow them to get on facebook til at least 18 cause I dont them getting kidnapped or killed by some person they dont know.

    If this does pass into law, we all are in big trouble because of the government having their hand in this..I do not approve of children 13 and under using facebook, and if i had a child at the age of 5 using facebook, im sure parents that voted yes that does have kids that age using facebook...this country is in big trouble. Its a sad day in history if this passes for children under 13 to use facebook.
  • sara 2012/06/07 05:52:45
    No
    sara
    +1
    These kids are too immature to use facebook & some of their comments prove it. The parents should be responsible to monitor their underage kids. Unfortunately, a lot of parents are ill prepared to do that
  • Jerapa 2012/06/07 05:27:47
    No
    Jerapa
    +1
    Facebook, at any age, is a huge distraction from real relationships and normal social interaction.
  • Deborah Donnison 2012/06/07 05:11:36
    No
    Deborah Donnison
    +1
    I thought that there was some mention of Face Book starting a site for young people. But, I guess if they did, then the preditors would be on that site by the thousands. There would probably be more preverts signed up as children, than there would be actual kids.
  • Pedalpusher 2012/06/07 05:11:04 (edited)
    No
    Pedalpusher
    +1
    My granddaughter was allowed to use it under age, because she had to say she was older she also told the boys she was older and looking for dates! Then her mom was going to be gone of a weekend and she sent out that it was party time and put her address online! All that because she was under 13 and didn't have the maturity to know better! I jumped her mom about her having an account and that both her and her brother had lied about their age and her answer was "Well how else were they going to get an account if they didn't? She knew they had accounts and allowed it. When to told her what her daughter was doing she had a cow, and made her take it down, now at 16 she has another account and won't give her mom the password! You can see why the kid was getting into trouble. it was too much trouble for her mom to supervise her! Then she has the nerve to come to me and ask how she can control her.....she's already lost control!

    13 and under are not smart enough and mature enough to know what not to post on it! At now 16 that same one still isn't any smarter! And what are they going to do when the parents don't supervise their kids? The parents don't see anything wrong.
  • arshad athwal 2012/06/07 05:08:58
    Yes
    arshad athwal
    +1
    ya it is a good approach for the kids to show their expression on the social site.
  • Deborah... arshad ... 2012/06/07 05:14:20
    Deborah Donnison
    +2
    by talking to preverts??
  • assbutt... Deborah... 2012/06/08 01:10:20
    assbuttsoup
    You know, only some kids are naive enough to talk to perverts. I'm not 13 yet and I'm not stupid enough add every random creep who tries to friend me. I use facebook to keep in touch with family and my friends at school over the summer. Not all of us like to talk to perverts and give out personal information.
  • Bob DiN arshad ... 2012/06/07 07:04:26
    Bob DiN
    With gossips and perverts?
  • gidianedwards97 2012/06/07 05:07:39
    No
    gidianedwards97
    +1
    I think sixteen and up
  • AllyAnne 2012/06/07 04:16:45
    No
    AllyAnne
    +2
    It's bad enough that they get mobile phones at that age!
  • Pedalpu... AllyAnne 2012/06/07 05:25:32 (edited)
    Pedalpusher
    +1
    Get mobile phones with text messaging and turn the ringer off so they text all day and the parents have no idea what they are talking to the other kids about. What the Blank is wrong with these parents and society today?
  • Cat 2012/06/07 04:04:42
    No
    Cat
    +1
    My granddaughter still has not added me and she is 13!!
  • Jessie 2012/06/07 03:46:20
    Yes
    Jessie
    +1
    Yes because if parents say no and forbid their kids to do things then they will just act out and be obnoxious and rude to their parents! All the parents have to do is block things on it and actually supervise their children!
  • Deborah... Jessie 2012/06/07 05:16:14
    Deborah Donnison
    You cannot supervise a child that age ALL THE TIME. She can go use a friends computer or phone.
  • Jessie Deborah... 2012/06/10 21:24:34
    Jessie
    And guess what u can put restrictions on it
  • Pedalpu... Jessie 2012/06/07 05:27:42
    Pedalpusher
    Let me guess, you're under 13!
  • Jessie Pedalpu... 2012/06/10 21:26:10
    Jessie
    No I'm 15 thank u very much
  • Col 2012/06/07 03:39:27
    No
    Col
    +1
    Definitely not. There are too many wieirdos out there. A lot of them are on FB. Regardless of what kind of restrictions you add it's always possible for someone to hack into their account.
  • nicesteve 2012/06/07 02:57:59
    No
    nicesteve
    +1
    Absolutely not. Not without the careful supervision of a compentant adult. Case in
    point. How old was that ACININE BRAT from North Carolina who got her laptop filled
    with hot lead by her father for getting smart with him, her mother, both her step parents,
    and other grown-ups ON FACEBOOK ? She should count her lucky stars that she was
    born in the good old USA and not the Middle East. In some countries there, to this very
    day, her father could have had her executed by hanging for behavior half as bad as she
    is guilty of. And also what about that young "lady" who I think is from New Jersey (I'm
    not sure) who was grounded from the web indefinately, by her mother until she learns
    some manners ? She is guilty of a similar offense that she comitted VIA FACEBOOK.
    These are two prime examples of why minor children should never be allowed on not
    only Facebook, but also Twitter, Youtube and any other similar such sights without
    vigilant supervision by a trustworthy adult. If I were the local juvinille refuree in either
    of those locales, I would send rouge kids such as these two, to an army basic training
    camp to teach them proper etiquette, courtesy, and protocol for minor children. Wait a
    minute ! Did I say army for that North Carolina brat ? She is the worse of the two...



    Absolutely not. Not without the careful supervision of a compentant adult. Case in
    point. How old was that ACININE BRAT from North Carolina who got her laptop filled
    with hot lead by her father for getting smart with him, her mother, both her step parents,
    and other grown-ups ON FACEBOOK ? She should count her lucky stars that she was
    born in the good old USA and not the Middle East. In some countries there, to this very
    day, her father could have had her executed by hanging for behavior half as bad as she
    is guilty of. And also what about that young "lady" who I think is from New Jersey (I'm
    not sure) who was grounded from the web indefinately, by her mother until she learns
    some manners ? She is guilty of a similar offense that she comitted VIA FACEBOOK.
    These are two prime examples of why minor children should never be allowed on not
    only Facebook, but also Twitter, Youtube and any other similar such sights without
    vigilant supervision by a trustworthy adult. If I were the local juvinille refuree in either
    of those locales, I would send rouge kids such as these two, to an army basic training
    camp to teach them proper etiquette, courtesy, and protocol for minor children. Wait a
    minute ! Did I say army for that North Carolina brat ? She is the worse of the two, and
    furthermore, North Carolina happens to be located in the middle of Dixie. Even to this
    day, In that neck of the woods, it is still customary for all minor people to call any and
    all grown-ups sir or maam, determinded by the latters gender. In that case, that stupid
    delinquant form North Carolina needs to be sent to a marine boot camp instead.
    (more)
  • cookies125 2012/06/07 02:50:07
    No
    cookies125
    +1
    no
    its ruining this generation
  • Raphy 2012/06/07 02:43:28
    No
    Raphy
    +1
    NO. We already have enough danger with predators in our own neighborhoods. This just make it worse.
  • Lana Riley-Brown 2012/06/07 02:35:23
    No
    Lana Riley-Brown
    +1
    No, No, No. I would like to talk to adults only and not children. If they get on, I LEAVE !
  • MARIA 2012/06/07 02:35:08
    Yes
    MARIA
    +1
    i do and plus its not fear because all my freinds are 13 or under
  • Deborah... MARIA 2012/06/07 05:23:00
    Deborah Donnison
    +1
    Dear...did you mean to write FAIR instead of FEAR? And if so, then I think you should spend a little more time learning to spell. And if it is FEAR, then I don't understand your statement.
  • Claybern 2012/06/07 02:30:52
    No
    Claybern
    +1
    Not a good idea with sexual preditors out there.
  • ogre 2012/06/07 02:25:23
    No
    ogre
    +1
    Absolutely not. It's a big distraction and 95% waste of time. Plus, it exposes them to all sorts of potential bullying/hazing from peers and exploitation by adults. This almost all applies to adults as well MONUMENTAL WASTE OF TIME.
  • Southernboy 2012/06/07 02:08:43
    No
    Southernboy
    +1
    U never know who u would meet online; thanks Internet for allowing a 50 year old fat man to pose as a 25 year old college girl from California with d cups
  • bettyboop 2012/06/07 01:03:17
    Yes
    bettyboop
    +3
    Only with parental supervision though. It has been my experience, that if you tell a child no and forbid them to do something, it only makes that something much more attractive.
  • Deborah... bettyboop 2012/06/07 05:27:15
    Deborah Donnison
    +1
    This is true, but if you offer choices (make sure the choices are ones you agree with) then it takes the "forbidden fruit" idea out of the equation and you don't end up SOUNDING like a tyrant.
  • bettyboop Deborah... 2012/06/07 12:53:47
    bettyboop
    You are so right. Sounds like you have had some experience Ms.Deborah.

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