So much the craze for Facebook that a friend of mine, *Vasanth, 12, actually incremented his birth year only to sign up for the Social Networking Site. In other words, he lied to Facebook about his Date of Birth in order to utilize the services it offers. However, Vasanth is not alone. There is reputable evidence about kids under 13 lying about their year of birth to get on Facebook.
Facebook may just relax this ban if inside reports are to be believed and allow even under-13 kids to sign up for the Social Networking giant. Says Simon Milner, Facebook’s head of policy (U.K), “We have a strict under-13 rule because of legal issues in America. We apply the same rule all over the world. But a lot of parents are happy their kids are on it. Some seem to be doing it with their parents’ permission and help”.
Many parents seem to have given consent to their under-13 kid(s) on joining Facebook. However, supporters of this ban still argue that allowing the same may lead to an increase in the number of incidents of child abuse, harassing, bullying etc. The counter argument supports the statement that nowadays children are pretty smart enough to recognize unruly online behavior and report accordingly. Facebook too has taken note of this situation and added a number of safety features to the site in an attempt to combat online bullying.
With teachers of various schools uploading the school homework on Facebook and communicating through the network, joining Facebook might just be needed for the kids.
The decision to lift the ban would lead to a surplus increase in the number of present account holders. Facebook boasts of more than 900 million active users. “We would like to hear from people what the answer might be” says Milner as the Facebook think tank sits down to take a concrete decision on whether to allow under-13 kids on Facebook or not.
As far as we know, even an 8 year old kid on Facebook is enjoying it.
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