Social media,Child

Kids need to stop signing over rights to social media companies

January 21, 2017
in Kids

Children do it all the time, but they don't understand what they're doing. That's why adults need to step in. Parental guidance seems to disappear when it comes to children’s online lives. According to a year-long study published this month by the UK Children’s Commissioner, far too many children sign over rights to their private online messages and photos on social media accounts without understanding what they’re doing, nor the potential implications. Although social media companies such as Instagram and Facebook do provide terms and conditions that must be read before agreement, these are usually far too lengthy and confusing for children to understand. Like many adults, they skim through in order to proceed, eager to connect with others. The Guardian reports: “Instagram, the photo sharing social media site used by more than half of 12- to 15-year-olds, and 48 percent of eight- to 11-year-olds, had terms and conditions that none of the young children in the taskforce’s focus group could fully understand. Only half of the eight- to 11-year-olds could even read the terms, which ran to more than 5,000 words on 17 pages of text.” The children’s commissioner, Anne Longfield, insists that this must change. The report published by the “Growing Up Digital” taskforce that she convened has made three policy recommendations to improve the safety of...

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