Thursday, July 7, 2011

Should kids be allowed on facebook?

Short answer...NOOOOOOOOOOO!
I've been on facebook for a few years now, I guess, after trying to avoid it as long as possible. What I have discovered during that time is that it is NOT for kids. The minimum age is 13, but estimated figures show that 7 million kids under 13 (5 million of them being 10 and under!) are already on facebook. This is alarming.
In the last year, the number of accounts being hacked has gone up tremendously according to the pornography I have seen come through on friend's profiles. Just the other day, it came through on a 5th grader's page! The pornography is often in the form of a video, but you don't have to click on the video to be exposed, as the picture on the post is enough to be shocked. Sometimes it is "just" a picture.
I'm not sure how people's accounts get hacked, as it's not happened to me yet. I don't know if it's carelessness on their part or just bad luck. But what I do know is that it's happening, and our children should be protected from exposure to these images.
Recently I saw that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of facebook, is trying to lower the minimum age to allow all children on facebook. He thinks the age limit is ridiculous. He also does not have kids. Of course he wants to allow kids on facebook legally so that he has a completely new target audience to sell ads for. Duh. But even if this does happen, I caution all parents who will consider the age they allow their children on facebook. Sometimes it takes common sense and not laws to determine the age at which our children should be set free on a social website. Imagine also a child who accepts a "friend" he does not know. This happened recently to a friend of mine. His 11 year-old son accepted a friend request from a half naked 20-something year-old woman from California. That's scary enough. But what if this woman was really a 60 year-old man looking for a young boy to play with? His account has been deleted.

1 comment:

Naomi said...

I agree. I even deleted my FB page because of hacking!