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POLL: Should Children Be Able To Use Facebook?

The social-networking site apparently is mulling over the idea.

Facebook is developing technology that would allow those under the age of 13 to access the site under parental supervision, a move that could help bring in a sea of new users for revenue but that could also increase privacy concerns, according to a report in Monday's Wall Street Journal.

The technology being tested would allow children's accounts to be tied to their parents' accounts so that parents would decide whom their children could "friend." New kid-friendly features also could allow Facebook and its partners to bill parents for games and other entertainment accessed by their kids.

Currently Facebook bars anyone under the age of 13.

But several studies show that many kids use Facebook despite the ban, often with their parents' consent.

For example, a 2011 Consumer Reports survey discovered that 7.5 million people younger than 13 already use the site.

As a result, some argue that the ban should be removed so that adults could work more openly with their children on the issue of social networking.

Technology journalist Larry Magid wrote in The Huffington Post that: "Whether we like it or not, millions of children are using Facebook, and since there doesn't seem to be a universally effective way to get them off the service, the best and safest strategy would be to provide younger children with a safe, secure and private experience that allows them to interact with verified friends and family members without having to lie about their age."

But many have criticized the idea of lifting the ban.

Common Sense Media, an advocacy group, compared Facebook to "Big Tobacco."

"With the growing concerns and pressure around Facebook's business model, the company appears to be doing whatever it takes to identify new revenue streams and short-term corporate profits to impress spooked shareholders," the group's CEO, James Steyer, said in a statement.

"But here's the most important issue: There is absolutely no proof of any meaningful social or educational value of Facebook for children under 13. Indeed, there are very legitimate concerns about privacy as well as the impact on the social, emotional and cognitive development of children. What Facebook is proposing is similar to the strategies used by Big Tobacco in appealing to young people—try to hook kids early, build your brand, and you have a customer for life.

"What's next? Facebook for toddlers?"

No doubt parents and their kids have endured many a heated discussion over Facebook in recent years as the site has grown in popularity.

Earlier this year, a YouTube video was created by an angry father who, when fixing his daughter’s computer, came across her long Facebook rant about family life. He was so mad about her post that he spilled his own rant, which he promised to post on his daughter's Facebook wall. For his grand finale, the dad pulled out a gun and shot his daughter's laptop to pieces.

The YouTube video became an instant sensation.

What do you think? Take our poll and tell us what you think in the comments section below.

outofthebox June 07, 2012 at 08:15 PM
I grew up as one of those kiids that where outside playing learning to resolve things on our own, rode bikes stick ball etc... & now I have teens myself, YES life was much easiler ( & funner) back then. We talked face to face with our friends & even got into aguements we resolved face to face .... A big Issue ( but not excuse) Everytime they go our riding their bikes Iam holding my breath waiting for them to get home, NOT that they are do wrong, but the way PPL Drive in Brick & Drum Point & Matalocking Road for the most part no sidewalks... MOST play grounds are restricted of when you can play in them or private, even the ball field have to be orginized sports & need a permit to play on them.... in SOME ways the things that SHOULD NOT be restricted for our kids are & the things that need MORE restrictions arent... Pray FOR US ... TO GET THREW IT :)
BobDee June 08, 2012 at 01:06 AM
I can't wait until Facebook goes the way of MySpace-extinct. In-Q-Tel is on the board of directors and this is taken from there website. "Investing in Our Nation's Future - Our mission is to deliver leading-edge information technologies to the CIA and the Intelligence Community."
James Royce June 08, 2012 at 02:52 AM
FACEBOOK & TWITTER These are two of the most dangerous and destructive "social media" ever to exist. They can become terminally addictive, waste a LOT of your time, lower your IQ, increase your weight, reduce your attention span, and isolate you from real world discovery and genuine face-to-face communication. Together with texting, they support bullying and harassment among school children.    Facebook can facilitate identity theft, and learns much more about you than you would care to have known.  It also harbors predators! Thus, "FarceCrook" is the worst of the sociopathic "nut-works". 
John June 08, 2012 at 01:30 PM
So, one of your sons has been on FB since he was 11? Guess there are no parks to play in or books to read near you?
that guy June 08, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Thus you are doing the same thing here on The Patch, dont hate. Anywho, I have had nothing but good things happen with facebook. I play it safe with pictures and posts, and have made connections blah blah blah. Back in my "tween" day, it was AIM (America Online Instant Messenger (RIP)). There, I had more sexual predators messenging me more than i could count. We were able to talk to complete strangers, transfer pictures, and have the options of going into "Chat Rooms", a cespool for sexual predators. Tweens and teens today obviously have a different attitude since then and run thier lives off of facebook. Should they be allowed on? Yes, of course. I personnally have gotten help from classmates for homework and formed study groups (while in college), and it wouldn't have happened without facebook. But the saying still goes------------ready-------- ITS UP TO THE PARENTS, TO PARENT THIER CHILDREN. No you are not thier friend, you are thier parent. Do your job and control thier activities within reason.

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