But users ages 13 to 18 are guaranteed privacy by Facebook. Parental authority essentially is meaningless when your child becomes an “authorized” user of Facebook. Rather, the company simply encourages parents to talk with their kids about the best ways to use the site.
We send some strange and conflicting messages to our teenagers. On one hand, we practically encourage their ongoing adolescence with rules that regulate whether they can ride a bike to school, much less get a job or drive a car.
Then again, we let them roam the Internet, facilitating and respecting their privacy without the means to assert our proper protection and judgment over their virtual activities.
There probably are a host of unintended consequences with this bill, but there’s also a germ of respect for parents in it that ought to be upheld more broadly.
Solid parenting usually will alleviate the need to go around a teen and demand that information be removed from his or her Facebook page.
Still, a law that reminds social networking companies of the primacy of parents in the lives of their minor children is a good thing.