The UK government is now considering legal limits on the number of hours children can spend on social media. There is already a minimum age of 13 for sites such as Facebook and Instagram, but no checks on whether children enter their age accurately. Now government says they will have to prove their age, though they don’t say how a 13 year-old without a passport can do that. A .pdf of a birth certificate is easily forged. Do national identity cards rear their ugly heads again? I kept mine as a souvenir for many years after they were abolished and would really hate to have another one.
Furthermore, a requirement for watching ‘adult’ sites will be that credit card details have to be entered to show the viewer is over 18. Enter the scammers, phishers and fraudsters with new access to family financial details.
Children’s social media hours will be limited by having sites such as Facebook required to cut them off after they have watched for their government-approved length of time.
Does it never occur to the people who come up with these hare-brained ideas that it is really the job of parents to monitor and exercise some control over what their children do? Sensible parents will watch what their children do, just as they will watch what they eat. It is no more the state’s job to tell a parent how long their child may watch social media than it is their job to tell people what to eat for breakfast. Although, come to think of it, they do want to do that as well…