I got a lot of messages on my Facebook wall today (thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone!), but one time when I went to check out what was on my wall, I got a strange message back from Facebook:
There’s been a lot in the news recently about the danger of children under 18 being on social networks, especially since MySpace has over 29,000 known sex offenders registered with pages. I fully support measures to keep children safe (which Facebook has to push for since they stopped being a college-only site), but I have a couple issues with this particular message.
- Even though my coworkers seem to think so, I’m not actually under 18. Today was my birthday, after all.
- I am registered with a school network, so I’m not really sure what action to take here. If belonging to networks makes you less shady on Facebook, I’m 3x less shady than someone without any networks!
Silly points aside, I’m not sure if this measure alone will make a difference. So sex offenders on Facebook is OK, as long as they aren’t registering as younger than 18? Are we really OK with that? I’m sure this is just one step in solving a complex problem, but I’m wondering how many people will feel better because of it.
And while I haven’t seen the message pop up a second time, it seems like narrowing out young professionals with 3 established networks would be step one in rolling out this change. I doubt everyone who encounters this message in error will respond with a light-hearted blog entry.