Facebook was started to the take the whole concept of Social Networking to another level. So far, it has succeeded. ‘Facebook me is the term.’ Back in 2004, the minimum age to sign up for Facebook was 18 years. Today it is 13 years. You can find it in Facebook’s help centre, under sign up – Getting Started.
The Delhi High Court of India has asked Facebook to upload a message on its homepage that children below 13 years of age cannot sign up for Facebook. A division of Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked Facebook to not allow children below 13 years from opening an account. Senior advocate Parag Tripathi appearing for Facebook assured the court that the site will upload the disclaimer on its home page, that children below 13 years cannot open a Facebook account.
“You (Facebook) can write on the home page in bold letters that children below 13 are not allowed. There is no harm in doing this.”
“In India what is the law for a minor to use Facebook? Is it 13, 16, 18 or no law? What is the requirement under Indian law for Facebook?,”
the court asked from the central government’s counsel who in turn told it that in US the age to use social networking sites is 13 years.
You don’t have a law for protection of minor on social networking sites? You are behind the time. The world has gone much ahead,
the court said.India today mentioned in a report that Facebook also filed a reply on the plea and said that its terms and conditions “specifically prohibit children under 13 years of age from registering a Facebook account and using Facebook services”. Facebook has different privacy settings for minors.
Google, in its reply, said that before opening an account with social networking sites, one has to open an email account and for opening that he or she had to mention the age and if the user was below 13 years, he could not open an account with social networking sites. Google had already put in place a plethora of steps on the issue of safe usage of internet.
Recently, Facebook had partnered with IAMAI to launch Internet Safety Education for Students. The campaign, focuses on creating awareness on this developmental issue. It will also train Educators, and Child safety NGOs about Internet safety practices.