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In a world where athletes make millions and the average business person makes less than $100K it is hard to argue that a market designed for entertainment isn’t big business. However, the customers are clearly in it for pleasure. This is why Facebook on paper is more valuable than LinkedIn – how can you argue with almost a billion users? LinkedIn, however, has over 200 million “business users” and the entire focus of LinkedIn is to “link” you with other business people.
There is word on the internet that Facebook might allow pre-teens to have accounts on Facebook. The reality is many accounts on Facebook are already under the age of 13 and there isn’t much anyone can do about it. As parents you can friend your child and actively monitor their accounts but the child can easily de-friend you and then you have to apply other means of discipline. You also see many other articles about this topic, like “The 5 Facebook Dangers“. The article explains how students, court room consequences, child porn, and jobs can all be subject to online activity.
An idea I had, as I expressed on this site in a comment, is to have the parent involved in the registration process and have Facebook make the parents a permanent friend. This would not allow the child to de-friend their parent until they are 18, or 16 or whatever age is appropriate. Having four older teenagers I constantly see posts or discussions that could eliminate them from college or jobs in the future. The bottom line is kids are kids and they don’t often see the bigger picture and the repercussions of their online activity. I would really like to see this same restriction on all social networks. Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Protecting our children’s future in the online world is getting harder and harder.