Top Social Media Site Facebook has loosened restrictions on the site for children using the site as young as 13 years of age, reports talent manager and producer Bruce Edwin of The Hollywood Sentinel. According to the Los Angeles Times’ Business Section (Thursday, October 17th, 2013) which reports, “Until now, teens’ posts on Facebook could be viewed only by friends and the friends of their friends.”
Now, anyone that uses the internet and looks at Facebook and stumbles upon a kids site will be able to see what children as young as 13 post. Producer and talent manager Bruce Edwin, who wrote legislation that was partly used by the California State Assembly to keep children more safe in the entertainment industry states, “This is a bad move by Facebook. It is bad for parents, and bad for children’s safety. The move seems to be motivated by greed and competition with other social media, instead of children’s safety.”
Facebook And Google Change Terms For Profit
Facebook also made changes where users’ timelines can no longer be hidden by the public. Google Plus, owned by Google, which also owns You Tube, also made recent changes to their settings, potentially forcing users to have their comments show up in their clients’ advertising.
Bruce Edwin adds, “Children use the internet more now than ever, and many are addicted to it and sites including Facebook. So they are used to posting everything that happens to them in their life – including, every move they make, or every outfit they try on. Now, Facebook has opened up its site to help lure more child sexual predators to find and abuse children through the site. Pedophiles can now find a 13 year old’s location, or directly engage with them, trick them, or see their photos that once used to be only for friends. This is bad news. Facebook should have more accountability and responsibility for the welfare of children. I have already reported two child sex traffickers in the past three months alone who used the internet to trick children – and that was without even looking for the problem.”
Bruce Edwin concludes, “Human trafficking is the fastest growing and most profitable crime in the world – after drug trafficking. And most trafficked victims are women and children who are used and abused for forced child slavery, child prostitution, child pornography, and more. Facebook has basically said they don’t care about child trafficking and child abuse, and want to make it easier for children as young as 13 years of age to get abused.”
Many parents and communications experts are horrified and upset at the new changes, stating that some teens do not always use the best judgement, and may post things they should not, such as nude photos of themselves, that can now be seen by the world and end up in the hands of pornographers. Other experts have reported that Facebook will now try to start using teens’ comments in advertising against their will, and will also start pillaging teen data to sell to equally unscrupulous marketers to try and sell them junk they don’t need. Facebook is claiming it will be safer for teens now, but experts are calling this a lie. The site claims it will repeatedly ask kids if they want their information shared and seen by the world before it does it, however, those that use Facebook know that the site has had numerous changes, is not always easy to navigate or figure out, and can be confusing to adults, and children alike.
A research group should be set up to collect and examine the statistics concerning how the decrease in child safety and privacy on Facebook increase the abuse of children. The logic is evident of what will occur. Unfortunately, Facebook does not seem to care enough about children when it stands to gain more money.
As a result, adults should lobby to have the controls back in place as previously. Further, parents and school teachers should more readily teach kids about safety and proper conduct on the internet, and parents should better communicate with their children about their concerns. They also need to have a clear understanding of where their child is at, not only physically, but mentally as well – knowing what they are or are not capable of, and ensuring that they are safe and well protected.