Today’s news centers around the wonderful world of terms of service violations. You know, that long list of policies that for all you know meant you turned over your eternal soul in exchange to be able to use Microsoft Word. Nobody cares about these things, not even lawyers, and definitely not, as it turns out, little kids. Why there are ten year olds all over Facebook, and how YouTube is attempting to challenge Netflix, here on Uproxx News.
Facebook is Pedobear Approved!
This furor got started (again) because Consumer Reports ran a survey and discovered, surprise, little kids know how to lie about their age on the Internet! Apparently, of the 20 million brats under 18 on Facebook, 7.5 million are under 13, and 5 million are even under ten. This directly contradicts the far more panicky surveys released by people like MacAfee, which claimed more than a third of 10 to 12 year olds were online, but has this stopped annoying parents from worrying? Of course not!
On the level that this is actually a problem for anybody, this is just a headache for Facebook. Due to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, Facebook can’t use or collect any information about anybody under 13. Of course, the laws of God and man have never stopped the Zuckerbeast in its pursuit of the almighty dollar, so we’re a little surprised they’re even pretending that they care. Are you kidding? This is the guy who argued in public for the entire Internet to go Big Brother just so he could make another billion or so. He probably wants everybody forcibly enrolled in Facebook at birth. But, for now this troublesome law is on the books, so right now, Facebook is hunting down and deleting the profiles of little kids, who pretty much immediately sign back up while deleting the cookie that Facebook uses to track who’s underage.
Of course, if you’re genuinely worried about this, setting up your computer to block Facebook is really simple: set up a separate login on the computer for your kid, block Facebook on that login, and you’re all set. Maybe download some free blocking software and add an extra layer of protection. But that’s no way to get parents to panic and make money off their fear of the demon technology, so the idea of roving packs of pedophiles hunting the Internet FOR OUR CHILDREN is being rolled out yet again in some quarters.
The problem is that really, the only people who can do anything about this are parents, and they want someone else to do this for them because they’re too busy annoying their friends by talking about their kids. Consumer Reports recommends installing some blocking software, keeping an eye on what your kids do and, you know, calming the heck down a little bit. Others have books to sell you about how most of Facebook is scary and you should protect your little bundle of joy from the terrors of unsupervised interaction with the Internet, because it’s all 4Chan.
Let’s start by not talking about your kids at all on Facebook, OK? Especially not their poops. If you could just stop talking about your kids at all and get a hobby, parents, that’d be greatly appreciated too.
- Meanwhile, in the realm of streaming video, YouTube has stepped up its game to compete with Netflix, in the sense that they’re actually trying to compete with Netflix. In addition to cranking out original material, YouTube just doubled the number of movies you can rent from it, from 3000 to 6000. Of course, they’re still charging four bucks a rental, so Netflix is probably going with that “for two of their movies you get thousands from us” strategy that’s been doing well for them. But hey, the Red Shoe Diaries are free on there! (Business Week)
- But at least this is good news for film nerds: Mosfilm, the Soviet Union’s massive movie studio with a library of films rarely seen in the US, is putting most of its library online for free (with ads) exclusively on YouTube. (Wall Street Journal)
- Oh, speaking of something only nerds care about at this point, the PlayStation Network is dead until the end of the month. (Yahoo!)
KNOW YOUR STATS
- Facebook has over 600 million users, which means less than five percent of its userbase is under the age of 18, and just over 1 percent are under 13. We know, we found that incredibly difficult to believe ourselves. (Business Insider)
- Just for a little contrast, 20 million is also the population of Beijing. (Washington Post)