June 5, 2012

TAKE ACTION! Facebook to open site to kids under 13 in effort to increase profit, despite the dangers.



1. Contact your Members of Congress

2. Contact Facebook leaders

Facebook just announced plans to begin allowing children under 13 to sign up for their own Facebook pages. This comes just days after Facebook’s stocks went public, valuing the company at $100 billion. As the pressure mounts for Facebook to continue expanding its revenue streams, they are looking to target the world’s most easily influenced and pliable consumer group – kids. By allowing kids to fill in the blanks about their likes and dislikes, Facebook stands to make loads of cash by offering that information to advertisers. Nevermind that this move comes dangerously close to or might even violate federal law (The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), or that this step would increase the dangers children face online exponentially – this decision is strictly about money.

Facebook claims that they would develop software to protect kids and will link kids’ accounts to parents’ accounts. However, until this point Facebook has failed to create any barriers to protect children. In the opinion of law enforcement, Facebook has become the number one gathering place in the world for child predators and child pornographers. (See this expose piece here.) There are thousands of groups and pages (many in public view) where pedophiles and child predators gather to share images. Facebook appears to do very little policing (We are Porn Harms have reported numbers of such pages, but days later the pages are still operating.) The names of these pages make it clear that child erotica, child pornography, and material of interest to pedophiles is available– but Facebook’s actions, and we’re not aware of what they have done to stop this, have not made a difference.

In addition to serving as a gathering place, many of these predators find and “friend” unsuspecting children on the popular networking site and get them to send provocative pictures and bully them online.

Facebook made a big deal about their plans to develop software to prevent child pornography from being shared on their site – this has yet to work.

In addition to the child pornographers and predators, Facebook is also the number one place for bullying of children by both adults and their peers.


Resources for Parents:

More Information About Dangers of Facebook for Kids:

Further Reading