Facebook and our kids: How old is old enough?

Original Title: My poor kid, I’m gutted

So my kid’s been really really on my ass to get a Facebook page. All her classmates have them, apparently, and even her piano school has a page that the teacher wants them all to be friends with.
And, while I recognise what a dumb POS it really is, especially for a 6th grader, I accept that, if monitored, it’s relatively harmless.
So I’ve been holding the promise of helping her set one up over her for the last couple months in order to motivate some badly needed improvements in recent behaviour and habits.
And she did really well, and pulled up her socks in the designated areas, and so I prepared to make good on my promise, and so we sit down to register her.
And it won’t accept her, because you got to be 13, and she’s only 11.
So she freaks out and says how can it be that all her friends are members, and I said I guess they lied.
And she says, OK, lie.
And I say, obviously, no.
And she calls a couple friends and asks, and, sure enough, they, or their parents, lied about their ages and that’s how they got on.
And I refuse to let her lie, and she’s sick disappointed and desperate.
But no way am I going to say it’s OK, and so we got a war going on.
I really really feel bad for her, and I’m really sorry, but I just can’t budge on this one.
Of course, now I’m worried that she’ll go behind my back and I won’t be able to supervise any of it.
Shit.

[quote=“the chief”]So my kid’s been really really on my ass to get a Facebook page. All her classmates have them, apparently, and even her piano school has a page that the teacher wants them all to be friends with.
And, while I recognise what a dumb POS it really is, especially for a 6th grader, I accept that, if monitored, it’s relatively harmless.
So I’ve been holding the promise of helping her set one up over her for the last couple months in order to motivate some badly needed improvements in recent behaviour and habits.
And she did really well, and pulled up her socks in the designated areas, and so I prepared to make good on my promise, and so we sit down to register her.
And it won’t accept her, because you got to be 13, and she’s only 11.
So she freaks out and says how can it be that all her friends are members, and I said I guess they lied.
And she says, OK, lie.
And I say, obviously, no.
And she calls a couple friends and asks, and, sure enough, they, or their parents, lied about their ages and that’s how they got on.
And I refuse to let her lie, and she’s sick disappointed and desperate.
But no way am I going to say it’s OK, and so we got a war going on.
I really really feel bad for her, and I’m really sorry, but I just can’t budge on this one.
Of course, now I’m worried that she’ll go behind my back and I won’t be able to supervise any of it.
Shit.[/quote]
I lied on behalf of my kid, who will be 11 in January, a few months ago to create her a FB account. She and I discussed why FB has that rule (it has to do with a US law about collecting personally identifying information for under-13s) and I told her that I’d rather be able to 100% monitor what she does (and I do, several times a week) than not know what she’s up to. She’s only allowed to befriend and communicate with people I know in person.

My 16 year old stepdaughter (who lives with her grandmother and is NOT supervised online) met a “nice guy” who was supposedly her age on Facebook and as part of their first meeting in person, he raped her. Nobody knew that she was out with someone she shouldn’t be, because nobody in that house asked those kinds of questions. Not going to happen in MY house, I know my daughter’s whereabouts all the time she’s not in school and I check up on her with her friends’ parents.

I’d rather lie about two years in age than risk what might happen otherwise. Maybe that makes me a bad mom, but it’s certainly a grey area.

I agree with Ms DiaFun. Better to set it up yourself and monitor it than run the risk of kids setting up their own accounts. The privacy settings are pretty thorough.

Is it the morality of lying that’s bothering you mostly, Mr the chief?

I just added exactly ten years onto my girl’s Yahoo account, and I made sure I knew her password.

Now I send her the odd message saying, “Why aren’t you doing your homework?!” or “Step away from the computer, and read a book.” :bluemad:

Of course, all of these messages are from a secret friend, and at this age, she’s not even a little bit interested in boys.

I’d say that sounds like sound parenting. You might also have a conversation with her about what it would do to your relationship to find out that she’s gone behind your back and set up the account on her own?

Unmonitored on-line activity is what I would consider a possible serious threat, especially to young teens. Be fair and stick your guns, and put some bi-focals on the eyes in the back of your head. Secure the perimeter. Huzzah!

I would never give Facebook correct information.

[quote]Mark Zuckerberg admits in a New Yorker profile that he mocked early Facebook users for trusting him with their personal information. A youthful indiscretion, the Facebook founder says he’s much more mature now, at the ripe age of 26.

“They trust me — dumb fucks,” [/quote]

I don’t know why you would insist on being a paradigm of honesty for this guy. My Facebook birthday is the 1st of January 1905. :2cents:

[quote=“the chief”]So my kid’s been really really on my ass to get a Facebook page. All her classmates have them, apparently, and even her piano school has a page that the teacher wants them all to be friends with.
And, while I recognise what a dumb POS it really is, especially for a 6th grader, I accept that, if monitored, it’s relatively harmless.
So I’ve been holding the promise of helping her set one up over her for the last couple months in order to motivate some badly needed improvements in recent behaviour and habits.
And she did really well, and pulled up her socks in the designated areas, and so I prepared to make good on my promise, and so we sit down to register her.
And it won’t accept her, because you got to be 13, and she’s only 11.
So she freaks out and says how can it be that all her friends are members, and I said I guess they lied.
And she says, OK, lie.
And I say, obviously, no.
And she calls a couple friends and asks, and, sure enough, they, or their parents, lied about their ages and that’s how they got on.
And I refuse to let her lie, and she’s sick disappointed and desperate.
But no way am I going to say it’s OK, and so we got a war going on.
I really really feel bad for her, and I’m really sorry, but I just can’t budge on this one.
Of course, now I’m worried that she’ll go behind my back and I won’t be able to supervise any of it.
Shit.[/quote]
You made a promise and you reneged. Keep your word.

As far as the ethics about lying to Facebook go, I believe you’ve already done that in that you registered your own personal account with a false name. If you’re going to hold your daughter to Facebook’s rules, shouldn’t you do the same?

He made a promise to help, not to actually do it. I swear, I would NOT let my kid on there – I’m “friends” with some of my siblings’ kids on Facebook, and you would not BELIEVE some of the filthy shit that they get subjected to.
If you really want to let her participate in that crap, I suggest registering her in YOUR name – “Big ferocious fucking HAMMER-WIELDING thug who will tear your arsehole into the Channel Tunnel if you so much as TRY to groom me for pedophiliac activity or use your pussy-arsed anonymity to bully me.” Its a bit long, admittedly, but the point remains.
You’re doing the right thing, the chief, as far as as I’m concerned. Eleven is too young for the kind of interaction a Facebook account entails.

Well done Chief.
Facebook is shite, a fitting degradation for this Age of Crap that we live in.
God, where’s my bloody bottle. I’m off to give my drinks coolie an old-fashioned trashing with a riding crop - teach the bugger to hurry up with the liquid quinine.

I think a wee can of worms has been opened here.

What’s the function of the “No Under 13” rule? Presumably to protect kids from foul language, lewdness and sexual predation.
IMO it’s a PG-13 rule. It’s pretty easy for a parent to monitor EXACTLY what their child has been up to on Facebook and to make severe privacy restrictions.

Now, if a wee one were to feel the overwhelming need to have a Facebook account, due to all his/her peers having networking privileges, it takes five minutes to set up. And then you have NO control. I’m not questioning the integrity of any of my dear friends’ children here, just saying, is all.

Access to a computer and the internet is a serious danger in itself. You don’t have to give your age to enter hardcore porn sites and the general seedy underbelly of the intraweb. IMO, Facebook is a relatively harmless way for youngsters to network. I see very little lewdness or vulgarity on it.

As far as lying goes, see my PG-13 interpretation above.

[quote=“jimipresley”]I think a wee can of worms has been opened here.

What’s the function of the “No Under 13” rule? Presumably to protect kids from foul language, lewdness and sexual predation.
IMO it’s a PG-13 rule. It’s pretty easy for a parent to monitor EXACTLY what their child has been up to on Facebook and to make severe privacy restrictions.

Now, if a wee one were to feel the overwhelming need to have a Facebook account, due to all his/her peers having networking privileges, it takes five minutes to set up. And then you have NO control. I’m not questioning the integrity of any of my dear friends’ children here, just saying, is all.

Access to a computer and the internet is a serious danger in itself. You don’t have to give your age to enter hardcore porn sites and the general seedy underbelly of the intraweb. IMO, Facebook is a relatively harmless way for youngsters to network. I see very little lewdness or vulgarity on it.

As far as lying goes, see my PG-13 interpretation above.[/quote]
Good points from the Jimi.
Maybe, then, you should lay down a “computer in the family room, monitor facing out, no child use unless a parent is present” kind of rule, with as many “net-nanny” applications as you can find. Yeah, I know, I’m a fuddy-duddy and today’s technology is more and more rapidly passing me by, but I WILL fight it tooth and nail, at least until my sprog has big enough balls to tell me to fuck off and mind my own business.

That should go without saying. Both my girls (ages 4 and 1) have Facebook accounts, and their only contacts are family. At this point, their accounts are for the enjoyment of relatives, so that they can watch them grow up, but at some point my girls will start using their accounts themselves. When that time comes, I will insist that I have access to their accounts and their passwords, and I will want to know who each one of their contacts is. All of their contacts will have to use their real names, and I will want to personally approve friend requests until my daughters are old enough to be trusted to make good decisions. It doesn’t matter how the older generation feels about the technology - it’s here to stay, and it’s far better to regulate it and manage it well then to bury one’s head in the sand and deny its existence. Our kids are going to grow up with the Internet as comfortably as we grew up with driving cars in high school. There will be accidents and cautionary tales in the future as there were in the past, but the onus is on us to help them grow up in their world safely, not to keep them out of it.

Or we can just join Amish communities in Pennsylvania and learn how to raise barns and make quilts.

No, he promised to help her set it up. He hasn’t helped her set it up, so he hasn’t held up his end of the bargain. His daughter has.

OK. Do they have cable?

That should go without saying. Both my girls (ages 4 and 1) have Facebook accounts, and their only contacts are family. At this point, their accounts are for the enjoyment of relatives, so that they can watch them grow up, but at some point my girls will start using their accounts themselves. When that time comes, I will insist that I have access to their accounts and their passwords, and I will want to know who each one of their contacts is. All of their contacts will have to use their real names, and I will want to personally approve friend requests until my daughters are old enough to be trusted to make good decisions. It doesn’t matter how the older generation feels about the technology - it’s here to stay, and it’s far better to regulate it and manage it well then to bury one’s head in the sand and deny its existence. Our kids are going to grow up with the Internet as comfortably as we grew up with driving cars in high school. There will be accidents and cautionary tales in the future as there were in the past, but the onus is on us to help them grow up in their world safely, not to keep them out of it.

Or we can just join Amish communities in Pennsylvania and learn how to raise barns and make quilts.

No, he promised to help her set it up. He hasn’t helped her set it up, so he hasn’t held up his end of the bargain. His daughter has.[/quote]

In fact, you’re wrong.
I promised to allow her to have one, which I readily did.
Prior to finding out she didn’t qualify for their conditions of use, I set out all the parameters you’ve outlined above.
The only issue at hand, as far as I’m concerned, is that if lying is the only way to get Facebook, she can’t have it.
Lying is lying, and I’m astounded at the fluidity with which everyone appears to be applying that standard here.

And, Maoman your analogy of me using a screen name rather than my own is lame.
There’s no requirement in the Facebook rules that one use one’s real name.
I never represented to anyone that that was my real name.
Nor did I utiliaze that user name as a means to circumvent a condition of use.

[quote=“the chief”]Original Title: My poor kid, I’m gutted

So my kid’s been really really on my ass to get a Facebook page. All her classmates have them, apparently, and even her piano school has a page that the teacher wants them all to be friends with.
And, while I recognise what a dumb POS it really is, especially for a 6th grader, I accept that, if monitored, it’s relatively harmless.
So I’ve been holding the promise of helping her set one up over her for the last couple months in order to motivate some badly needed improvements in recent behaviour and habits.
And she did really well, and pulled up her socks in the designated areas, and so I prepared to make good on my promise, and so we sit down to register her.
And it won’t accept her, because you got to be 13, and she’s only 11.
So she freaks out and says how can it be that all her friends are members, and I said I guess they lied.
And she says, OK, lie.
And I say, obviously, no.
And she calls a couple friends and asks, and, sure enough, they, or their parents, lied about their ages and that’s how they got on.
And I refuse to let her lie, and she’s sick disappointed and desperate.
But no way am I going to say it’s OK, and so we got a war going on.
I really really feel bad for her, and I’m really sorry, but I just can’t budge on this one.
Of course, now I’m worried that she’ll go behind my back and I won’t be able to supervise any of it.
Shit.[/quote]

Hey, hold on, I strongly object to the ham-fisted management of this thread. :no-no:
There’s NOTHING in my OP related to your new title, I never questioned or wondered for a second what the proper age is for a Facebook account, that all come later.
If you want to split that off, fine, but it’s not even remotely germane to my posting.

Hang on there a minute, Mr the chief. There’s lying and there’s telling wee FIBS, right? I could present thousands of analogies where “lying” is actually the morally correct way to proceed.

If you lay down the law with your kids and are clear and consistent about it, then all strength to you. That is an honorable ethos to entrench in the bairns and I wholeheartedly support it.

Telling a wee fib to get the lass on Facebook so that she can network with her mates under your STRICT supervision, however, is not the end of the world. I mean, you didn’t make the FB rules, did you? Neither did we make rules and laws that we despise and constantly disregard in many spheres of socio-political life.

Whatever you decide, full support to you for being a loving, caring and consistent Dad. In my humble opinion, though, I don’t think it’s a big deal for a kid to have a FB account at the age of 11 if it’s properly supervised.

Just my :2cents: .

[quote]Lying is lying[/quote]I agree with this. It’s just a website registration but it’s still lying. I don’t want the boy to think his dad would ever lie about ANYTHING. Fathers don’t lie. Fathers do not encourage lying. Fathers do not break the rules. Fathers are with the good guys.

Facebook should really have family accounts where parents can register a child while retaining administrator privileges on the account to control passwords, account settings, invitations, filters, etc.

You’re right to show her that lying is not acceptable. Although I think 11 is still too young, as a compromise why don’t you set up a family account, say named: “chieflette and family” then you can set a combined family age, and you can monitor the account as you will obviously have access.

I thought everyone lied a little bit on the net though. How many times have people used “90210” as an American zip code if some form calls for a zip code?

Not sure if this has been covered so far. but kids are always more tech savvy than their parents. Who else had parents who couldn’t work out how to set the timer on their vhs recorder or teachers that couldn’t tune a TV?

[quote=“the chief”]
The only issue at hand, as far as I’m concerned, is that if lying is the only way to get Facebook, she can’t have it. Lying is lying, and I’m astounded at the fluidity with which everyone appears to be applying that standard here.

And, Maoman your analogy of me using a screen name rather than my own is lame. There’s no requirement in the Facebook rules that one use one’s real name.[/quote]
Actually, there is. It comes in as rule number one in the Registration and Account Security section, while the age requirement isn’t mentioned until rule number five:

[quote]Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
1.You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
2.You will not create more than one personal profile.
3.If we disable your account, you will not create another one without our permission.
4.You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).
5.You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.[/quote]
How now brown cow?
As you say, lying is lying. :idunno: