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拉斯维加斯, US

4 experts and 3 parents have answered

expert answer
James Diamond expert
James Diamond E-Safety & Safeguarding Trainer Leicester, GB
E-safety expert

Although I completely agree with Chanda (I certainly wouldn't be comfortable with my children being on Facebook at such a young age), I think it's important to explain to your child exactly why you don't want them joining Facebook at 9-years-old, as "the minimum age is 13" doesn't cut much ice with the children I've spoken to. Afterall, weren't most rules there to be be broken when we were that age?

I would explain to them that Facebook has that age limit for a reason, and one of those is it isn't safe to be sharing your information with strangers, which includes Facebook, as well as other social networks (even the more child-focused ones).

It is very important that you don't focus on just stopping them going on Facebook, but to encourage safer behaviour on every social network and online environment they engage with.

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Experience 3 years ago
Chanda Gohrani admin
Chanda Gohrani Social media manager of London, GB

No, it's not okay for a nine year old to be on Facebook. The minimum age to join Facebook is 13. There are a lot of other social networks for under 13s that are safe and fun. We have discussed them here.

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Fact 3 years ago
Cal Sociology Nerd Kenilworth, GB

Although not ideal sometimes it can be important that a child is able to engage with their friends through a medium which is common among their peers.

If your child has a very good reason to be on Facebook then there is no reason you should not let them. However you must must must have complete control and access over their account, you should turn everything on to private and not allow your child to talk with or add people without your prior permission, and if possible you should only allow your child online when they are near you.

Chanda has provided you with a link to another post. Here you can find various other social media websites geared towards children which are far safer, and I would recommend you only allow your child to use these websites, because that is quite frankly the responsible thing to do.

The only reason your child would need Facebook is because their close friends are on Facebook. If this is the case my best piece of advice would be speak to the parents of those friends and encourage them to sign their children up to a child-friendly service. This will make it much safer for your child.

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Opinion 3 years ago
expert answer
Laurens Derks expert
Laurens Derks Education Technology Specialist AU
Education expert

Sorry Cal, It is against FB policy for a nine year old to have an account, even if it is "supervised" by parents. Parents cannot create accounts for those under 13.

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Fact 3 years ago
expert answer
Leonie Smith expert
Leonie Smith Cyber safety consultant AU
E-safety expert

There are of course millions of kids underage on Facebook. The age of 13yrs is set because of privacy reasons. Facebook is really an adult app. It is barely suitable for younger teens, due to the dreadfully complex privacy settings, and the amount of adult content, and the risk that your child will be approached by a stranger online. There are very very few people who know how to set up all the privacy settings on Facebook. I set up these as a service and constantly come up against adults who are quite convinced they have them all set up and they don't . Kid are also mostly not well equipped to handle the type of environment that Facebook is. It is hard enough to navigate the socialising at school let alone online where anything you say can be shared on to people you don't know and added to so that what you originally posted is now ridiculed. No amount of adult supervision can prevent a photo your child posts from then being shared on with a bullying or harmful comment underneath it. Your child is only as safe as the maturity and kindness of their Facebook friends allow. And when you consider that many of your child's friends won't have their parents supervising you are putting your young child at risk. There is no real adult supervision. Would you allow your 9 year old to play out of eyesight, with no adult supervision at night with a bunch of older teens and adult strangers hanging around? Because that's basically Facebook.

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Experience 3 years ago
Олег Кияшко
Олег Кияшко Don't mind my display name >.< Kyiv, Ukraine

Trust me, there are over 10 million of children under 13 on facebook. It might be very common for a kid in your local area to have an "illegal" facebook account... I don't even see anything wrong with it. The only wrong thing I see is just American people thinking that facebook is like the only social networking website in the world. That's not true!!!

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Fact 3 years ago
expert answer
Brian Housman expert
Brian Housman Parenting Communicator Memphis, US
Technology expert

NO! NO! NO! I can not think of an exception that would make it beneficial for a nine year old to have their own FB profile. A recent study in the US showed that there are at least 7.5 million under 13 user on FB. Approximately 19% of 10yr olds, 32% of 11yr olds, and 55% of 12yr olds are on Facebook. Among those on there, more than 60 percent of their profiles were setup by their parents. 88% of parents said they thought it was okay for their child to lie about their age in order to create a profile.

There are three issues here. One is of your child's safety. Facebook saves every click of your keyboard in order to create their own profile of who you are. All of that information is used to treat your child as a consumer and nothing more. Billions of dollars are at state for the Facebook and they have a responsibility to shareholders to create revenue.

Issue two is a child's maturity. No matter how good of a relationship you may have with your nine year old and how more mature than the average kid you believe your child to be, THEY ARE STILL NINE. They do not have to life skills or experience yet to fully recognize dangers online. To them everyone is a friend. And no matter how often parents talk about watching your words, underage children have a huge carelessness with sharing personal information online.

The last issue is one of character. If you setup a profile for your under thirteen child on Facebook, you are modeling to your child that you yourself, as a parent, are not willing to live under reasonable authority. I want my teenagers to see that the respect I have in my community comes through years of hard work and living in right relationship with others. All of that can be sabotaged by simple shortcuts of integrity.

There is something to be said for delayed gratification. Everything in life comes at our children so much quicker than it used to. With all of the other factors aside, let your child work the process that Facebook has setup. Help your child see creating a FB profile at thirteen as a new rite of passage. A way to help you both close the chapter of childhood and welcome them into adolescence.

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Fact 3 years ago

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