Why Kids Under 13 Should Be Allowed On Facebook
The only reason Facebook bars those under 13 from joining the website is because of advertising rules.
Facebook’s limit comes from the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which became Federal Law in America in 1998. They just take that age and apply it across the world, except in Spain (where the age limit is 14).
The U.K., for example, doesn’t have any regulations against info sharing on children. The U.K. information commissioner said that it is around the age of 12 when a child can understand the risks of handing over personal data, but Facebook just sticks with 13 across the board.
Last spring, Mark Zuckerberg admitted he was looking into allowing kids on Facebook.
“That will be a fight we take on at some point,” he said. “My philosophy is that for education, you need to start at a really, really young age.”
This week that notion came closer to reality when The Wall Street Journal reported Facebook “is developing technology that would allow children younger than 13-years-old to use the social-networking site under parental supervision.”
But who are we kidding? The kids under 13 are already on Facebook (about 7.5 million of them). They’ve been doing it with or without parental supervision for years.
Carolyn Castiglia wrote a piece on Strollerderby this week alleging “you shouldn’t have a hard time preventing your child from signing up for an account if you don’t want them to have one.”
Think again, Carolyn.
Sarah Palin preached abstinence to America and ended up with a grandson, courtesy of her unwed teen daughter Bristol.
If you think a kid isn’t going to join Facebook “because you said so,” you are sadly mistaken.