Facebook should sue the parent who let his 11-year-old open an account
Hear the one about the 11-year-old on Facebook? Not exactly nicking porn mags from the newsagents or drinking fags in the boozer, but it’s enough to shock and amaze today’s worriers.
The story is that when a father from Northern Ireland learned that his 11-year-old daughter had created Facebook accounts and uploaded sexual photos she was exposed to messages of “entirely inappropriate sexual nature” from men. Dad was so upset he sued the website. He reasoned that Facebook should have enforced its age restrictions policies – only over-13s are allowed their own accounts.
Facebook did shut down her account when it realised her age. But she continued to create news ones.
The Mail says Facebook settled outside of court with the man for an undisclosed sum.
Like you, we’re confused. Under 16s – so those legit 13-year-olds with Facebook accounts – are underage. Why is it ok for them to have an account and not for an 11-year-old? Is Facebook’s age policy based on the Bar Mitzvah factor – you become an adult at 13? Says the father:
“My own personal view is that Facebook isn’t suitable for under-18s, but the company isn’t even able to uphold its own policy of keeping under-13s out. An age check, like asking for a passport number, would be a simple measure for Facebook to implement.”
“We are generally forbidden by privacy laws against giving unauthorized access to someone who is not an account holder. We encourage parents to exercise any discretion they can on their own computers and in overseeing their kids’ internet use. Please talk to your kids, educate them about internet safety, and ask them to use our extensive privacy settings.”
Well, yeah. What about parental responsibility. Facebook should sue.
PS – what self-respecting child is on Facebook when SnapChat and Instagram are soooooo much cooler?