A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Wolf Howl

Age Restrictions on Social Media

A majority of people in the US have social media. This might include you. It probably includes some of your friends, your parents, and even your pet. The problem is, some of these people shouldn’t have it.

Most social media apps such as Instagram and Facebook have a 13+ age restriction. But the only thing insuring this is a button below the terms and service; anyone can say they’re older than they are. 

Social media brings a lot of problems as well as a lot of good. It can be used to support a good cause, bring attention to charities, or even spark important movements. However, social media can also be used to traffic children, hide child predators, or to cyber bully a child to the point of suicide. 

Social media needs restrictions. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 imposes certain requirements on apps that offer services to children under the age of 13, which prompted many companies to place age restrictions on apps. 

But this doesn’t ensure anything. Over 80% of children lie about their age on social media, giving them access to possibly harmful material. 

There need to be better precautions in place. Parents should monitor their child’s social media. Not to the extent where they can’t even look at their account, but to a point where children don’t have access to a website that could potentially harm them.