If you're 13 or younger, forget about using Facebook. At least that's what you're supposed to do.
But many kids are creating accounts with fake birthdays. And now, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to change the age limit. As you might expect, it's sparking a great deal of debate among parents.
The age restrictions don't seem to be working. An estimated 7.5 million children under 13 use the site anyway. Some 5 million are 11-years-old or younger.
Federal law prohibits kids under 13 from using the social media site. According to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, websites can't gather data about users who are 13 and younger. But some kids lie about their age and join anyway.
Zuckerberg hopes to see the law change or figure out a way to abide by it but allow for younger users.
But considering kids post pictures of themselves, their full birth date and travel plans, it undoubtedly makes some parents a little uneasy. Many children even "check in" at locations, telling friends where they are at a given moment. It's bound to make adults nervous.
According to Consumer Reports, "one million children were harassed, threatened, or subjected to other forms of cyber bullying on the service in the past year."
Here are what some of you are saying on CNY Central's Facebook page:
Joanne Hanson: "I dont think children should be allowed to use facebook there is no supervision,what I have seen its not a good thing,there is to many that get vulgar,not juat teens but young adults who just go on cause thay dont work."
Gail L Kofkee: "its ok IF parents are watching whats goig on on there. Our son has an account and we have access to it at all times. Plus the computer is kept in the livingroom, kids don't need one in the bedroom, unless they are trying to hide something."
Christie Brown: "My oldest is 13 and his father and I will not allow him to have a FB account. Bullying is bad enough in school and FB only magnifies it. Even if you lock down your childs account (which I have a friend that did) it doesn't prevent '...friends' he's accepted (you've approved) from not bullying him..."
Sarah Tarquinio Youngman: "I am a former high school teacher, and even high schoolers ABOVE 13 say risky things and post risky pictures. Some of them have no idea of the dangers of the Internet, or how posts they make online could live on to negatively impact their future! I still think 13 is too young, and that all parents need to strictly monitor their child's online presence."
Heather Weller-Marks: "I allow my 12 y/o to have a facebook so she can keep in contact with her father and his side of the family. I am very strict with who she friends and I have all control over passwords on the computer. I have told her that if she doesn't want me reading something on facebook that it shouldn't be put out there for others to see. She also knows that if she is not responsible with it, it will be taken away"
Should kids 13 and under be allowed to have a Facebook account? Do you allow your child access? Should parents be responsible for what their kids do online? Does Facebook need to do anything to make it safer for kids? Are you more concerned about potential bullying or strangers getting access to your kids information? Leave your thoughts below.
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