The CDD offered five reasons why Facebook is not suitable for children under 13:
- Children would become part of one of the Internet’s most expansive personal data-collection and profiling platforms.
- Children would be exposed to a new generation of highly persuasive and manipulative digital marketing practices.
- Facebook’s marketing practices would take advantage of children’s cognitive, social, and emotional vulnerabilities.
- Children would be subjected to an onslaught of unhealthy food marketing — precisely at a time when childhood obesity has become a major crisis.
- There are no safeguards in place that can adequately protect children from Facebook’s aggressive and harmful marketing and data-collection practices.
More details on each of the CDD’s five points are available here, and the group concluded:
While Facebook’s popularity and visibility may make it enticing to children, there are multiple reasons why it is not an appropriate platform for them. These include not only the critical concerns about their online safety, cyber-bullying, and harmful content, but also major threats to their privacy, health, and well-being. Simply obtaining parental permission for children to set up a Facebook profile would not address these problems. In the absence of systemic changes to Facebook’s digital marketing and data-collection operations, it would be highly irresponsible for the company to open its network to young people under 13.
Readers: Should Facebook have an age limit, and what should it be?
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