Facebook Should Be Limited to Teens Over 14, Parents Say
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
March 12 2012 01:26 PM ET
Turning 13 means you can get into a PG-13 movie without your mom, order a Domino's pizza and join Facebook. But a majority of parents say 13 is still too young to enter the world of social networking.
In a study released today (March 12) by Sodahead.com, pollsters found that 65 percent of parents with kids said teens should wait until they're 14 or older to launch a Facebook page . Roughly half of those parents said 18 is the right age — the time when teens can vote and are considered adults in most states.
Facebook users must be 13 or older to join because of laws that protect the privacy of children. But that hasn't stopped kids from joining with or without their parents' help. Around 13.5 million children under 13 have a Facebook page, according to Consumer Reports.
Older surveyed teens (18 and up) have a much higher comfort level with younger kids on Facebook. Only 25 percent said that children should be older than 13 to join the site.
What some parents may not know is that Facebook treats minors differently than adults. Privacy settings cannot be expanded beyond "friends of friends" by kids 17 and younger. Users under 17 also cannot make their profiles fully public. While that's no guarantee that a stranger can't message your kids, the restriction provides some protection.