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Patch's Poll: Should Children Be Allowed to Use Facebook?

The social media giant is looking at ways to allow kids under the age of 13 to gain access to the website.

There are nearly 900 million Facebook users in the world, including an estimated 7.5 million children under the age of 13.

Last year, The Huffington Post reported that Facebook was removing 20,000 underage accounts on a daily basis because the company prohibits kids under 13 from having profiles. The ban is based on government regulation.

That may soon change.

The AP reported this week that the social media giant is testing ways to allow kids under the age of 13 to participate without having to lie.

“This would likely be under parental supervision, such as connecting children’s accounts to their parents’ accounts,” the news agency reported.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the company is testing a parent control system in which parents decide whom their kids can “friend.”

What do you think? Should kids under the age of 13 be allowed a Facebook account? Would you support being in charge of that account? Take our poll and add your thoughts in the comments.

Olive3 June 09, 2012 at 11:47 AM
What! You write as if FB is a life support system no one can live without. It's nothing but a soap opera and glorified gossip column!! Parents should not allow children get addicted to this stuff. And yes I have tried it. Shortly there after signing on, even with all the privacies in place...only "my friends" allowed, a virus attached itself to a friends message!!! Parents need to be parents. Make the hard decisions and be the bad guys. If your gut tells you this is not right it probably isn't ...as least for you. Just because everyone is doing it doesn't make it right.
Olive3 June 09, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Depending on the age, it is possible to control at least 96 percent of what your children do. Set boundries early and have consequences for their actions. It's called old fashion parenting. Being "the dad" and being "the mother". It takes a lot of work to be a good parent and not much to be a poor one. Today everyone wants the easy way and would rather be a friend than the parent. I am not a strict parent, but I set boundries and was fair for age appropriate activities. It is very hard work, but they deserve the best we can give them and sometimes it's not the money or things at the store....sometimes it's a firm "NO".
Sarah Calatayud July 20, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Joe, in a way, I agree with you. People who refuse to use FB because they fear others invading their privacy really just don't understand it at all (I notice it tends to be people who are not terribly computer savvy in the first place, so naturally, they don't trust anything they don't really understand). It's VERY easy to set up your privacy settings so that you are only sharing information with the people you want to (and they do not have the ability to share your stuff with anyone else). When someone tells me they are "anti-FB", I know they just don't really know anything about it or how to use it properly. However, my 10-year old has asked me repeatedly to have a FB account and I have told him "no" because it's just redundant at this point. He can communicate with all the people he wants to by e-mail. He's got his own Youtube account, which I monitor, and I feel like that is PLENTY.
Sarah Calatayud July 20, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Barbara, Agreed, but some people will just never even WANT to learn how to use it. The kids are dragging their parents, kicking and screaming, into so much new technology these days.
Sarah Calatayud July 20, 2012 at 03:42 PM
@Olive3, It definitely has its place. But I would not characterize it as a "soap opera" or "glorified gossip column". I have family and friends - cousins, aunts, uncles, even a few half-siblings that I've never personally met! - living in Texas, Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado, France, and in Australia and Africa - and FB allows me to have a way to share events and photos in my life with them. I would really not be able to easily nurture those relationships without this tool. Nothing replaces phone calls and face-to-face conversations. But with two young kids, and a very busy day-to-day life here, it just would not be possible. So this has its place and truly is indispensable for me. Also, I learn about important things through FB, such as events I'm interested in, legislation I'm interested in, etc. It is much much more than just a place for people to spout social garbage. It's not for everyone, but I truly would find it very hard to live without. My kids have no real need for it now, but they will in the future.

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