Two Facebook articles: "age inflation" ... link to divorce

Facebook Users Who Are Under Age Raise Concerns


Across the nation, millions of young people are lying about their ages so they can create accounts on popular sites like Facebook and Myspace. These sites require users to be 13 or older, to avoid federal regulations that apply to sites with younger members. But to children, that rule is a minor obstacle that stands between them and what everybody else is doing.

Parents regularly go along with the age inflation, giving permission and helping children set up accounts. They often see it as a minor fib that is necessary to let their children participate in the digital world.

Plenty of people fudge the truth about their age, whether to buy beer or project a younger image to potential mates. But researchers and other critics say allowing children to break the rules sends the wrong message. And, they argue, it sets children loose in a digital world they may not be prepared for — exposing them to the real-life threats of inappropriate content, contact from strangers and the growing incidents of bullying by computer.

“Not only are kids lying about their age, but more often than not, parents teach them to lie about their age,” said Danah Boyd, a social media researcher at Microsoft.

Ms. Boyd said this ran counter to the goal of getting parents more constructively involved in children’s online activities, which was one aim of the legislation that spawned the age restrictions in the first place.

At the same time, the practice is hard to stop, say Web sites and federal officials. Sites try to catch under-age users — “We are not burying our head in the sand,” said Joe Sullivan, the chief security officer at Facebook — but verifying a young person’s age over the Internet is a task that ranges from tricky to near impossible.

Comment: Not my worry anymore because my children are all adults and on their own. I'm glad that the Internet was in its infancy when my children were youngsters. My own view ... closely monitor Internet usage of children! There are sexual predators that exploit social media sites.

Second article about link between Facebook and divorce

Irreconcilable Claim: Facebook Causes 1 in 5 Divorces


Upon further review, Facebook and marriage aren't incompatible.

In the past two weeks, the idea that the popular social-networking site plays a role in one in five divorces was reported by many news organizations. This wasn't the first time that surprising number has surfaced—it has appeared in news reports periodically for the past year and a half.

Some lawyers do say that they see Facebook and other social media playing a role in divorce these days, as people rediscover old flames online or strike up new relationships that lead them to stray from their marriage vows. But lawyers and marriage researchers say there isn't much evidence to support the notion that social-networking sites actually cause marriages to sputter.

Comment: Common sense. My wife knows my email and Facebook passwords.

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