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Sanjay Katkar

Facebook planning to allow under-13s: Is this a good decision?

May 23, 2012
12
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Simon Milner, Head of Policy in Facebook, Britain, recently declared that Facebook is planning to abolish the act of disallowing children below 13 years of age from becoming members (this CNET post explains the situation well). The opinions obviously are divided straight down the middle. Many parents feel that this age limit is necessary as it helps protect children from various threats on the social network. While there are others who will welcome this news as they feel that the decision to allow their kids on Facebook should be in their hands alone. After all, all it takes for an individual below 13 years to register on the network is to lie about their date of birth, with or without their parents consent. While there may be children who want to be on Facebook because their parents are on it, there are parents who actively encourage their young kids themselves to circumvent this rule. They claim that it is a far more dangerous situation if a 10 year old, for instance, pretends to be a 16 year old.

While this is true to a certain extent, I believe the minimum age limit is necessary. Young children are vulnerable and susceptible to various threats over social networks. They can fall prey to malicious parties if left unmonitored. People who wish to navigate around this rule will always find a way to do so, but we must think about many others who are genuinely safe thanks to this stipulation. Young children are not mature enough to distinguish between real and fake friend requests. They are more likely to click on fake links and can also fall victim to various online crimes like cyber-bullying, phishing scams, spam etc. Threats like these can be avoided with adult supervision and monitoring, but it is unreasonable to assume that an adult will be around every time a child accesses Facebook. The platform has garnered 900 million users while upholding this age limit, so I see no reason for them to now expose children to various threats just to increase their user base.

We would like to know what you think – Should Facebook maintain their under-13 age limit or not? Feel free to share your opinion with us.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Sanjay Katkar
About Sanjay Katkar
Sanjay Katkar is the Joint Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer of Quick Heal Technologies Limited. He holds a Masters in Computer Science from University...
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12 Comments

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  1. no! facebook should maintain their under age limit!

    facebook iz not a real life!
    itz d virtual life
    moreover they wont b able to distinguish between whatz right n whatz not!!

    Reply
  2. Hemant SanghaviMay 23, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    I think apart from other angles, it will increase unnecessary burden on Facebook traffic. As most of children are free either in morning time or in afternoon time depending upon their school timing, they will go for face book surfing in their free extra time, where they are supposed to play games outside home.

    But I hope that when Facebook took decision, they kept other alternative in their mind.

    Reply
  3. Yes i am agreed with himanshu…

    Reply
  4. Ayush BhagatMay 23, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    i think yes bcoz as it is children under the age of 13 put fake birthdays days and enter facebook

    Reply
  5. X VIRUS LABMay 23, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    It is not acceptable to allow under the age group of 13 years for facebook usage. I think facebook is trying to grab teenage users attention also and want to increase the users. Not a good idea by the Facebook.

    Reply
  6. Dinesh JumaniMay 23, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    i think they should not do that.

    Reply
  7. yup its a good decision………

    Reply
  8. it is wise decision, sometimes children does not openup with us , but share lot of unknown facts with freinds. all child can be monitored at one place. Think about it.

    Reply
  9. ashvin patelMay 24, 2012 at 6:56 AM

    yup it is right decesion………

    Reply
  10. FB should keep the 13-years-old-age-limit decision.

    Source:

    I hate FB.

    Reply
  11. Kanishk SinghMay 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    I don’t think its a Right decision.Even though Facebook.Inc hasn’t approved this policy yet,there are thousands of children who fake their birth year on this online social networking site.One of my friends even has done the same.Approving this policy for the benefit of increasing the number of members is definetly not right.

    Reply
  12. I AGREE WITH THIS DECISION

    Reply