Facebook: Obama girls too young for Facebook, anyway
The first lady's comments that she doesn't allow her daughters to have Facebook profiles caught some attention after Michelle Obama's interview Wednesday on the "Today" show.
But that's a good thing, the social network said. As The Washington Post's 44 blog pointed out Wednesday, Facebook is only for users 13 and up. Malia Obama, 12, and Sasha Obama, 9 are too young to have Facebook profiles, according to Facebook's own Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
Andrew Noyes, a spokesman for Facebook, said:
This restriction is both for safety reasons and to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Facebook has systems in place at the point of sign-up to prevent people who identify themselves as under the age of 13 from creating accounts. It's a violation of our terms to provide false birth date info, and we have community verification systems after sign-up to help ID people who are doing this so we can take appropriate action.
Michelle Obama's statements have drawn praise and criticism from parents across the country.
David Rodriguez, a New York father of a 10-year-old boy, told the New York Daily News, "Safety is my biggest concern. There are a lot of inappropriate things being sent around. You hear about things like the craigslist killings, and it makes you even more hesitant."
Meanwhile, Sylvie Branch, a Yahoo! News contributor, said that she stands by her decision to let her young children use Facebook, with supervision. "Overall, my kids have proved to me that it is possible to use Facebook as the tool that it is and not become obsessed," she said. "The key, I believe, is to keep them engaged in life. The three of them are friends on Facebook and that keeps everyone accountable. My 12-year-old knows that what he says online, can and will be held against him."
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