SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Facebook is testing the waters to allow children under 13 on the popular social networking site, but some child advocates are calling the idea crazy.
I should disclose that I happen to be the co-director of a non-profit internet safety organization, called Connect Safely that receives financial support from Facebook.
Some advocates are saying children this young are not mature enough for a website like this and that it could expose them to online threats.
I actually think it’s a good idea for Facebook to create an environment that’s designed for kids and brought it up in an interview I did with CEO Mark Zuckerberg two years ago.
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They should not allow kids to be looking at advertising; they should not be tracking kids. I think they should have a clean, well-lit place for kids, somewhat slightly different than the regular Facebook that still lets them interact with family and friends under parental supervision.
A lot of child safety advocates realize that kids are going to be there anyway, so why not create a safe space for them.
Of course Facebook should be held accountable. Facebook hasn’t made any announcements on any guidelines they would be implementing, but they are creating a lot of talk within the industry if they do decide to go through with this.
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