Should Kids Under 13 Access Facebook Or A Big No No! [Study]

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With lots of popularity and acceptance, Facebook is ruling the world of social media. Whether the person is a teenager, adult or a matured, Facebook is open to all ages (except under 13) with more than 900 million global users. But when it comes to the kids who are under 13, there are lots of issues. In this fast competitive world, especially kids learn much at a very young age, it has become a matter of concern that whether the kids under 13 – should be allowed to use Facebook or not.

Although Facebook bans user of below 13, it is a pity to see how users lie about their age and forced the company to go beyond its policy, intentionally. 7.5 million Children under the age of 13 were using Facebook, including more than five million under the age of 10 in the last year. This could most probably have a negative impact on their lifestyle.

It’s well-known that India is third largest country in terms of Facebook users and I consider, it’s important to know how teenagers are accessing social networking sites across the country. According to a survey (conducted by TCS) on 12,300 high school students (aged 12-18 years), majority of the youngsters have accessed social networking site through mobile devices. 85% respondents (during survey period) said they used Facebook, while 79% accepted that they had own a mobile phone (the information is yet not clear whether they are using their device for accessing social networking site or not). However, 40% of mobile device owners said that they used their phones to access the internet, up from 12% in 2009.

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Reasons behind children attractions:

Children those who are unable to share their problems with their parents, used social network platform to bypassing their emotions. Sometimes it is helpful for the students who want to learn from social media by debating on Facebook. Sex and infatuation are also different factors which have agitated most of kids (aging 12-18). To share their thought, kids are moving for social networks.

As children are more passionate about any games and Facebook’s gaming portal is considered as their first choice to play free online games. Zynga is a social gaming site most likely played by kids on Facebook often, having over 240 million active monthly users who are actively indulging in Zynga gaming apps like CityVille, Zynga Poker, Draw Something, Hidden Chronicle, Farm Ville, Caste vile, Words With Friends, Empires & Allies, Scramble With Friends, Café World, The Pioneer Trail, Indiana Jones TM, Adventure World and the most famous of all Mafia Wars. And it seems that most of the players are generally kids.

Why Facebook Support it:

Facebook counts healthy revenue from Zynga. In 2011,  Zynga accounted nearly one-fifth (19%) for Facebook’s total revenue and 15% revenue in the first quarter of 2012. 11% cash payment had been paid by Zynga in 2011 and 12% in the first quarter of this year. It is clear that Facebook is dependent on Zynga for increasing its traffic as well as revenue. However, Facebook’s announcement of going public with its IPO filing is creating unsatisfactory agendas to Zynga Inc.

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Steps taken by Facebook:

  • General precaution:

Many times via different newsletters, web portals and blogs, Facebook authorities have alerted the parents to investigate properly when their child use Facebook.

  • Facebook’s Panic Button:

In order to solve the above problem, Facebook launched a Child Safety application called “Panic Button” in 2010. The bottom for Children and teenagers will be available on the home page and was reporting for abuse to Child exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) as well Facebook administrative authority.

Note: Ceop, the government law enforcement agency tasked with tracking down online sex offenders, called for a Panic Button to be installed on social networking sites.

Negative aspects:

We have explained earlier that how Facebook was going toward online prostitution hub by the end of 2011. Till the beginning of 2011, about 83 % of prostitutes had Facebook pages and with such constant growth, it was expected that Facebook could be a leading online recruitment space for prostitutes by the end of 2011. This major shift had been noticed due to Cragslist’s abandonment of adultery services category some time back which had diverted the “prostitution” traffic from Craigslist to Facebook for prostitution only to find an effective alternate online business establishment. Only one out of every four prostitutes gets regular clients from Facebook in 2008, while escort agencies provided about 31 percent.

Pressure mounted on Facebook after the rape and murder of 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall by a 33-year-old convicted sex offender, posing as a teenage boy, whom she met on Facebook. These unsocial news also affecting a young kid’s mind.

The unwanted stuffs on the Facebook news feed is always a matter of concern among the adults and matured persons. But in case of 13 year age child, it becomes a blunder which is unable to explain. Indeed, Facebook will create its new strategies in future for approaching more and more users in its hub. Children undergo 13 should be allowed to use Facebook, CEO of Facebook – Mark Zuckerberg had explained nearly one year ago. According to Mark, it will be a fight that he will take off at some point. It is a matter of consideration, whether Facebook will create another social giant for its young users or introduce any other application in continuing Facebook portal.

I personally think, instead of going for another social networking website, Facebook will allow its young fans to go with its recent timeline with more condition apply.

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