Carina has been typing on the internets before there was a www in front of everything. This is why she’s cranky and wants to know when you’ll get off her lawn. She resides in a hopelessly outdated home in the Mountain West with a mathematician and two boys. Her laundry is not done, but her Twitter is totally up to date. Carina does not have a Tumblr, because get serious.

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Would You Report an Underage Facebook Account?

I recently saw this poster on Pinterest:


original source

My response would be “If you’re 11-years-old and on Facebook, I will report you for terms-of-service violations.”

I don’t care how cool, popular, unpopular, connected, or wired you are, Facebook’s terms-of-service say that you have to be 13 to use their service. It’s against the law for a child under 13 to use Facebook. At risk of sounding like a rule-following fuddy-duddy, why is your kid on Facebook? There are adult things on Facebook, not to mention really awful grammar violations.

Do you truly think your child is sophisticated enough to handle big-pants social media like Facebook? Trying to make it easier for anyone in the world to find your child? I don’t get it. Is there a reason to break the rules because your child is safer and more emotionally mature due to social media?

I haven’t reported an underage child on Facebook yet, but I’m not opposed to it. I’d do it in a New York minute.

And now comes the news that Facebook is considering creating a different Facebook for kids that are under 13. Let that sink in a little: Facebook just for kids; Baby Facebook. I am even less thrilled with that idea. Oh look, someplace just for kids that predators can target. Let’s pretend that the predator thing doesn’t bother you (ha) how about the targeted advertising that could take place? (Your kids, after all, are just another revenue stream to Facebook.) You can barely manage to keep your own privacy settings up to date and locked down, can you imagine handling Baby Facebook?

And more importantly, I just don’t think social media is the right place for kids to be managing their friendships. They need to learn how to interact with people offline before they take it online. The ease of bullying, access to inappropriate material, not to mention the studies showing that childrens’ self-esteems plummet when exposed to constant social media.

Turns out that most of you agree, kids younger than 13 shouldn’t be using Facebook:

Facebook for Kids Infographic

So let me ask you, how would you feel about a Baby Facebook? And what about the kids that are already using social media: would you report a child for an underage Facebook account?

Other posts you might enjoy…

Teaching Kids About Online Safety

Kids Internet Safety

Tweens and Cyberbullying

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Comments (1)

  1. Rena Ismail 06/14/2012 at 5:15 pm

    After reading your take on what “baby facebook” and its targeted ads would be like, I just realized that I don’t want my kids anywhere near it! Besides, whose to say that some predator type couldn’t act like a 12 year old? Clearly, the 10 year olds are acting 18!!!

    Great article. :)))