Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Facebook for kids

According to Facebook, since March of this year there are a total of 901 million monthly active users. Launched in 2004 and originally called ‘The Facebook’, creator Mark Zuckerberg’s initial purpose was to make it accessible to Harvard students.Now, eight years later, it is arguably the most popular social network of this generation. Although Facebook seems free and available to everyone, it does have one limitation — children under the age of 13.

There have been discussions within the Facebook team to allow children under the age of 13 to access the site. Although, according to Consumer Reports, 7.5 million children under the age of 13 use the site, simply by lying about their age.

The reported planning has caught many parents’ attention. Though some parents use parental block on websites for the safety of their children, many fear what Facebook could present to their children.

“Facebook can be a dangerous place for my kids to go on,” Natalia Ling, mother of two daughters under the age of 13 said. “Anyone could hide who they are and I don’t want to put my children in that type of situation.”

There are other obstacles under than the parents’ consent, like the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which prohibits internet companies from collecting personal information about children under 13 without verifiable parental consent, such as credit card information or a faxed signature.

Facebook is now asking for parents’ help by allowing them to control who their children are friends with and even third party applications they can use. The social network team believes that with having parents’ assistance, they can avoid the large population of kids who lie about their age to get onto the site.

“I would rather watch my kid’s facebook and be in control of who they talk to, than my child signing up without my knowledge,” Kimberly Joust, mother of three said. “I would like to have the chance to oversee their account and make sure they aren’t being bullied or harassed.”

According to the i-SAFE Foundation, more than one in three young people have experienced ‘cyberthreats’ online.

Facebook is adamant about creating a safe environment for children, and the process seems more difficult than originally thought.

“We are in continuous dialogue with stakeholders, regulators and other policymakers about how best to help parents keep their kids safe in an evolving online environment,” the company said.

Although Facebook has just announced their plans recently, they have reportedly been discussing this issue for about a year, and are trying to have it accomplished by the end of 2012.

“I think I would be willing to allow my children to get accounts as long as Facebook does it right,” Paul Perez, father of four children all under the age of 13, said. “They are a great company and I’m sure they can figure this out so it can protect our children.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor

Comments (0)

All Valencia Voice Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *