Within the past few years I’ve tried to stop posting stories that happen outside the US because I don’t live there. It’s not some jingoistic thing. I just feel if I’m ignorant of the country’s culture I have no business posting about it. However this story should speak to not only parents in the Western world but to those of us who believe that personal responsibility is a dying concept.
In Northern Ireland a man sued Facebook for allegedly allowing his 11-year-old daughter to open multiple Facebook accounts and post suggestive photos of herself on those accounts. She was said to have been approached by at least one predator who has now been legally restrained from contacting her. As you may know Facebook’s terms of service state that users have to be 13 in order to join Facebook.
You would think that in a world that made sense the lawsuit would be thrown out of court. Maybe the laws regarding this in the UK are different from those in the US, like their libel laws, because Facebook actually settled for an undisclosed amount. In my opinion this assclown just got a payday for not doing the job of a parent.
Unfortunately no social network or app is going to do any kind of real age verification because that would be bad for business. The goal for these companies is to have as many users as possible. If a company like Facebook were to even charge a dollar to verify age a huge chunk of its userbase would leave in droves. The article mentions that maybe in Europe they could use passport numbers as age identifiers but then Facebook has our passport number. Facebook doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to privacy so I’m sure many people would not want Facebook to have that information.
So instead we have to do our jobs as parents and what our children do online with either their computers or smartphones. If I had to hazard a guess there was not a lot of monitoring going on here until it was already too late and now someone got paid off for their own negligence.