According to Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), anyone under
13 years of age is not allowed to sign up for social networking sites, primarily Facebook, which have been known to collect private information from its members. However, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants this law to be changed. He claims that school kids under 13 could have a “deeper educational experience” by being exposed to social networking sites.
Unfortunately, despite this law, there are many pre-teens who have been using this site anyway by falsifying their birth dates, irking many high school students. Senior Naomi Prechtl is especially annoyed by the idea of younger children being on Facebook.
She says, “Why should pre-teens be able to access Facebook? Facebook is supposed to only be for high school and college kids, and anyone older. Younger kids don’t need to have the social network we need.”
Sophomore Claire Endres agrees. “Pre-teens should stay in middle school. They don’t need to be exposed to the corruption that is high school.”
Not only is having middle schoolers on Facebook annoying, they shouldn’t be on the website in the first place. They add to an ever-increasing list of people Facebook users must censor their information from. If middle schoolers truly want a social networking site, they should get their own. Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg should create one specifically designed for preteens. That way, it is much more safe for the preteens to use and far less annoying to those who actually meet the age requirement for Facebook.
Laws exist to protect pre-teens’ innocence for a reason. Pre-teens are already exposed to crude examples of society multiple times a day through outlets like TV and the Internet. Their innocence shouldn’t be further compromised from what their high school siblings and their friends may post.
While Facebook and other social networking sites have revolutionized the way people keep in touch with one another, it has also drastically changed the way children grow up. Leave Facebook to older, less impressionable students.