Author Topic: Facebook to (possibly) allow children under 13 to create accounts  (Read 798 times)

DeterminedJuliet

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http://www.pcworld.com/article/256740/facebook_ready_to_officially_allow_children_under_13.html

It looks like Facebook is doing some testing on whether to change its official policy and allow children under 13 to create their own accounts. As the article states, there are already a ton of children on Facebook, because it's pretty easy to circumvent the age restriction, but I don't know how I feel about this.

I've already come to accept that my son's experience with social media is going to be vastly different from mine when I was growing up (we didn't have the internet until I was 10 and Facebook didn't exist until I was in my 20s), but it's just one of those uncomfortable parenting things. Like a lot of parents, I'm sure, I shudder at the idea of him getting online at an early age and doing something stupid that'll be recorded in the anals of the interwebs forever. Or worse.

It just seems inevitable that we won't be able to completely shelter our children from "the world" and, even if we could, I'm not sure we should. It's a hard balance, though. Especially when we don't know the full implications of social media when it comes to psychological development/social development, etc.

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hismikeness

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Re: Facebook to (possibly) allow children under 13 to create accounts
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 01:14:09 PM »
I think with children, or anyone for that matter, teaching them how facebook works is as important as keeping an eye on who they are "friending" and what they are doing. If they go in to social media as a "real" conversation, and don't say anything on FB that you wouldn't say in real life, or that you wouldn't shout out loud in a crowded room then they will be fine.

Social media isn't going away. In fact, who's to say that in 3 or 5 or 10 more years facebook and twitter are extinct (like MySpace) and a new outlet has come up. Learning to live with and use these social media outlets to your advantage rather than your detriment is an important skill.
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Re: Facebook to (possibly) allow children under 13 to create accounts
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2012, 01:52:50 PM »
I don't feel comfortable with Facebook lowering the age limit. I thing that 13 is a good cutoff number. I agree with what you are saying, hismikeness, but I just don't think that a lot of kids get that there are some things that people should not say online. We have all seen kids that will say inappropriate things in public, what's to say they wouldn't do the same online where it is permanent.
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Tank

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Re: Facebook to (possibly) allow children under 13 to create accounts
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2012, 01:55:09 PM »
If they can't police an age limit now how are they going to do it in the future?
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Ali

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Re: Facebook to (possibly) allow children under 13 to create accounts
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2012, 01:58:27 PM »
It might actually be better, because kids could have a special "kid's access" account that would (hopefully) have more security features that the parents could set up instead of using a generic adult account.

Tank

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Re: Facebook to (possibly) allow children under 13 to create accounts
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2012, 06:21:20 AM »
It might actually be better, because kids could have a special "kid's access" account that would (hopefully) have more security features that the parents could set up instead of using a generic adult account.
I agree. I'm just dubious about how it could be implemented and policed effectively.
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markmcdaniel

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Re: Facebook to (possibly) allow children under 13 to create accounts
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2012, 07:38:44 AM »
It might actually be better, because kids could have a special "kid's access" account that would (hopefully) have more security features that the parents could set up instead of using a generic adult account.
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I agree. I'm just dubious about how it could be implemented and policed effectively.
It will be almost impossible to enforce.  As long as Facebook and it's ilk continue to be user friendly kids will be able to work around any restrictions. This is also true at home where the children are frequently more computer literate than their parents.  Computers and other web browsing platforms are becoming both more powerful and more portable. This will tend to make security problems worse. Unfortunately, children are very oriented to the here and now and do not understand hypothetical future dangers. 
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