Facebook is currently looking at ways to expand their audience and their profits since they went public last month. Facebook currently bands children under the age of 13 to join the site, but Facebook states that there are children who are lying about their age. An estimated 7.5 million out of 900 million users worldwide are under the age of 13 have joined the site. – CBS News This market is something that Facebook has been looking at taping into for awhile.
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In the article, Facebook Testing Ways To Allow Kids Under 13 On Social Network, Stephen Balkan who sits on the Facebook Advisory board talks about what Facebook would look like for kids. ”Balkan offered some ideas about what Facebook could look like for kids. For one, the default setting to their account could be set to “friends only” so that strangers can’t see their posts. Teenagers who are 13 to 17 currently have their accounts set to “friends of friends” by default, so the under-13 restriction would be a step beyond that. In addition, parents could have final say on whom their kids become friends with on Facebook. And Facebook could even keep advertising off kids’ accounts,” he added.
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I am not sure how I feel about this. Of course Facebook would say there is a way to restrict certain functions and capabilities to users under 13, but I don’t buy that. I think it’s risky and furthermore I think that Facebook should look into other ways to expand and grow. There is so much on the internet these days it’s already hard restricting what your kid gets exposed to and giving them access to Facebook will just fuel the fire. I can see headlines now–”Bullied On Facebook,” “Facebook Kills Teen” and the like.
Would you allow your kid under 13 to be on Facebook?
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