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The Real Problem if Facebook Allows Kids on its Site

Their new proposal to allow children under 13 onto the site will ultimately curtail the parents’ social satisfaction

By Jeremy Greenberg Jun 5, 2012 2:05PM

Photo: /Photographer's Choice/Getty ImagesFacebook is looking at ways to allow children onto the site. Of course, allowing kids onto the Facebook of today is as dangerous as letting them into a combined strip club/gun show. Zuck and the team know that, and are responding by mentioning that they’d basically create a Disneyland version of Facebook. Parents would control who their kids are friends with, who they communicate with, and similar such parental controls. Stop me when it sounds like the kind of fun kids are looking for. Usually kids break away to their friends or social sites to have a moment free from their parents. If anything, having kids on Facebook with tight parental controls is going to give mom and dad rich (if not abusive), Google-esque personal information. And our kids shouldn’t even think about planning any terrorist attacks.

But the real problem for Facebook, if they allow children 13-and-under on the site, is not that they’ll be ruining the experience for kids, but that they’ll be ruining it for parents. Facebook is the only place many busy parents have to gush or brag about their kids. Without Facebook, where would our old high school buddies post meaningless pictures of their kids leaving the grocery store? Or, how about those notes about being so proud of our kids for having finished a school year without becoming addicted to bath salts and eating the teacher’s face? Facebook is where parents talk to other parents about their kids—even if it’s done so indirectly. Can you imagine if your kid were now privy to everything that was posted about him, or saw every image you’ve ever posted of him on Facebook? I’m willing to bet that whatever connections kids were hoping to make online, it wasn’t to have their friends find them tagged in videos in which they dance around in diapers singing Rock You like a Hurricane. Your kid thought that was a private toddler moment. Now he’ll learn their diaper dancing has 172 likes.

The end result will be that parents will back off their posting for fear of embarrassing their kids, and kids won’t want to post on anything that is being sent right to mommy’s inbox. The only people left on Facebook will be college kids and people asking me to “Branch Out.” No thanks. If I want to be that bored, I’ll join LinkedIn.

Should Facebook allow kids?

 

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202Comments
Jun 8, 2012 10:05PM
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Great insight; re; Kids on the Internet! Comments made, TOO real to Life!

Jun 7, 2012 5:17AM
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i would like it if it werent for the drama
Jun 7, 2012 4:11AM
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Every one of you parents with kids under 13 that have facebook accounts ....

Not one kid, NOT ONE, under any circumstances, could sign up unless they lied about their ages. If you didn't know this then you know it now. No amount of excuses will suffice for the glaring lack of integrity some of you all possess. What seems like a small omission now will be a grand lack of character later.
Jun 7, 2012 2:56AM
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Maybe instead of Facebook we could come up with something for the kids to apply themselves to. Like: SCHOOLBOOK!
Jun 6, 2012 11:44PM
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I have NO Intentions of ever having FaceBook.

Facebook destroys lives .. same as Twitter.

Social Networking or these fast Instant Messaging are out of control.

 

No wonder Identity Theft is number 1.

 

Your stuff is not safe .. rumors, 3rd party talk, hackers, people who don't even know you will write/text about you or get attached to the wrong person.

 

Communications gets Scrambled and Facts mixed up being intrepreted incorrectly meaning something else that what was said. your message will be taken out of context.

 

The World would be better and safer without Facebook, Twitter and CELLULAR PHONES or Blackberry, etc.

 

If it's out there, anyone can see it! You No Longer have PRIVACY.

Jun 6, 2012 8:14PM
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Regardless if fb allows kids under 13 my kids won't be on it. It is time parents actually start parenting, like setting rules etc and stop blaming other people for their own children misbehaving.
Jun 6, 2012 8:05PM
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Facebook may not allow kids, but with no way to check their age, there is no way to stop them.  Much to my dismay my grandkids have been on Facebook for years.  They are only 12 now.
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