Why Your Kids Can’t Join Facebook Until They Are 13

By on

Have you ever wondered why it is that your kids can’t join social media sites like Facebook until they are 13 years of age? Perhaps you thought that it is the social media sites ‘looking out’ for the interests of our children. I know I did a few years back.


Now while I would never cast any doubt on the good intentions of social media networks, the ‘no under 13s rule’ is actually a by-product of US legislation entitled the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA). The legislation came into effect in 2000 and is unapologetically committed to giving parents control over what information is collected from their children online.


The COPPA rule therefore targets operators of all commercial websites and online services aimed at the under 13s as well as website operators with ‘actual knowledge’ they are collecting information from individuals under the age of 13, such as Facebook.


And while the legislation is US-based, websites hosted overseas must comply with COPPA if they are directed to children in the US. So, in summary, if your kids are visiting the same sites that US kids would frequent, then COPPA applies.


Now the vast majority of parents would be completely supportive of the rationale behind this legislation – even if the moaning from their yet-to-be 13 year old is wearing them down. However Mark Zuckerberg, the ‘father of Facebook’ has made it clear that he believes the COPPA legislation should be overturned and that younger children should be allowed on social networking sites like Facebook. He has also expressed his determination to change this.


“That will be a fight we take on at some point. My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age.”


No-one can dispute Mark Zuckerberg’s entrepreneurial skills and business acumen – he’s worth nearly $US30b – yes billion dollars. But as a mother of four boys who are particularly interested in the online world, I completely disagree with his desire to change these rules. As a society, we have a fundamental responsibility to protect our children. Guarding our children’s identities, their digital reputations and most importantly, keeping them safe are, without doubt, some of the highest priorities for me as a mother.


So, yes – let’s absolutely educate our kids about the online world. Let’s explain the pitfalls, hazards and dangers. But let’s not put them at risk all in the name of education!!


‘Till Next Time


Stay Safe Online


Alex xx


Categories: Family Safety
Tags: , , , , ,

One comment on “Why Your Kids Can’t Join Facebook Until They Are 13

Leave a Comment

Similar articles

Sports fans everywhere look forward to mid-March for the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament. However, it’s not just college basketball fans that look forward to this time of year. Cybercriminals use March to launch malicious campaigns in the hopes of gaining access to personal information from unsuspecting fans. Let’s take a look at the most ...
Read Blog
The risk to your family's healthcare data often begins with that piece of paper on a clipboard your physician or hospital asks you to fill out or in the online application for healthcare you completed. That data gets transferred into a computer where a patient Electronic Health Record (EHR) is created or added to. From ...
Read Blog
While biometric tools like facial ID and fingerprints have become more common when it comes to securing our data and devices, strong passwords still play an essential part in safeguarding our digital lives. This can be frustrating at times, since many of us have more accounts and passwords than we can possibly remember. This can ...
Read Blog