Facebook recently triggered a worldwide debate whether the social network should allow the children under 13 years of age to join the network. Critics are of the view that the preteens should not be exposed to the Internet, especially when cases of cyber-bullying, pornography and trolling are on the rise. Also, they believe that if Facebook allows under-13s to join, it will help the Social Networking company to find more devious ways to make money from kids, or from their parents.
Despite critics' concerns, the fact is a number of under-13s have already joined the network, by lying about their age while filling in the sign up form. According to Consumer Reports, out of the 20 million minors who actively use Facebook, 7.5 million are younger than 13, while more than five million are younger than 10.
Facebook, one of the largest social networking companies, owns more than 900 million actives users worldwide. Opening the gates to preteens will significantly help the social network to boost the numbers. However, Facebook's current policy prohibits underage users. Facebook seem likely to allow children younger than 13 years old to join the social network, but under parental supervision. Parents may be allowed to control whom their children add as friends.
Last week we sought your opinion on Facebook's plans on opening the network to preteens. 564 readers responded through an open poll. And the majority are against Facebook opening to preteens.
About 343 poll respondents, 61 percent, told us, the Internet is not safe for under-13s. Around 146, 26 percent, said the social network should allow preteens but only under parental supervision. Only 75, 13 percent, said Facebook should be available for children under 13 years old.
We'd like to thank our readers for their overwhelming response and hope they will continue voicing their opinions in the same way.
This week we've asked you your opinion on Anonymous India's movement in India. The self-proclaimed hactivists recently defaced various Indian websites to protest against 'web censorship' in the country.
Do you support Anonymous India's methods? Participate in our weekly poll to let us know what you think. You can check our previous weekly poll results here.