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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Facebook urged to protect young users



Facebook kicks off some 20,000 under-aged users every day, according to the Daily Telegraph. The site's own rule is that users be at least 13 years old, but many parents knowingly allow younger kids to fudge their age and use the site anyway. A Pew study found that nearly half of all 12 year olds use a social network site every week.

I didn't realize Facebook was  policing the site on its own looking for baby faces. Perhaps the tough love is due to talk in Congress of urging Facebook to do a better job protecting its younger users.

Sen. Al Franken and others on Capital Hill have sent a letter to Facebook urging it to step up its privacy settings for 13-18 year old users. In a recent column, Franken argued that Facebook's new privacy policy "would endanger the privacy and safety of children" by allowing adults to access their information.  "These younger users are the most vulnerable to predators on Facebook and the rest of the Internet and it should be impossible for them to inadvertently share their phone numbers and home addresses with anyone."

So what do we think, should Facebook protect its younger users better or should parents do a better job of policy their kids' computer use? Or both?

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Thursday, March 24, 2011 4:40pm]


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