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Did You Know? Fun facts about Facebook

  • Facebook is categorized as Personal Website Communities.
  • It is against Facebook’s terms and conditions for children under the age of 13 to join.
  • Facebook was started in 2003 by Mark Zuckerberg college while studying computer science at Harvard and was originally called “Facemash”.

Many parents have called and asked us what they should do about Facebook?  Block it?  Let their kids sign up?  Should THEY even sign up?

These are difficult questions, because every family is different, and every parent will deal with this differently.  At FamilyConnect we love how the Internet brings families and friends together to build them up, as well as educate and inform.    Facebook CAN do these things.

We also abhor the filth that is on the Internet.  And unfortunately Facebook CAN be a doorway to these things as well.

Therefore, any wise parent will set about establishing ground rules for Facebook, just like for the Internet in general.  Here are some suggestions:

1.  No children on Facebook under 13. Not only is this Facebook’s policy, but it should be your policy too.  Unfortunately, many parents allow their children to lie about their age to gain access to this site because (all their friends are on it).   But the Children’s Internet Protection Act prohibits collecting personal information from children under 13 for a reason.  There are simply too many people on Facebook who are not who they appear to be.  Which brings us to…

2.  Not everyone on Facebook is who they say they are. Just like in chat rooms and online communities, people CAN pretend to be someone they are not.

3.  Not every post on Facebook is from the person it says it is from. If you wouldn’t expect your grandma to “like” a picture of a girl in a bikini, then it is very likely that grandma’s account has been compromised.  Do not click the link to to see what she “liked”.  Instead, email her to recommend she change her password.

4.  There is no such thing as a free lunch. Just because a post says you will get something free, or find out something that no one in the world knows, doesn’t mean you will.  The better it sounds, the more likely it is that it is a scam.

5.  Just because you get a friend request doesn’t mean you need to accept it. If your third cousin on your mother’s side is annoying in real life, trust me, they will be even more annoying on Facebook.  Simply ignore the request.  It will be much better on your sanity than dealing with their rants and comments every day until you summon the courage to “unfriend” them.

This is just a partial list.  And all of the above are true of not only Facebook, but emails, and the Internet in general.  It’s a jungle out there.  Don’t be scared.  But don’t go unaware either.

Have fun!  Oh, and click here to “Like Us” on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/FamilyConnect/194612123895457