The Government should raise social media’s age limit


Divine Idiku

Companies continue to update their platforms with teens and kids as their target audience. Social media holds numerous dangers, including kids encountering predators and cyberbullying. Multiple interest groups, such as the Daily Citizen, believe the government should make social media platforms and verify kids’ age through third-party security platforms, like the Social Security Administration.

Divine Idiku, Reporter

Social media does not only entertain and allow people to interact with others but also causes mental distress. Children regularly do not obey the age limit set on social media and commonly lie about their age. Almost all Social media platforms fail to put in place a secondary method or mechanism to verify people’s age. The government should increase the social media age limit to at least 16 years or older because these platforms enable people license to hurt others, causes mental distress and people tend to lack emotional connection.

The popular app Tik Tok carries numerous dangers of predators; kids encounter inappropriate content and cyberbullying, which can potentially result in anxiety. Social media acts as the strongest weapon for teenagers, causing cyberbullying, body dysmorphia, self-harm and suicide. The app allows kids under the age of 13 to use the app with a parent or legal guardian’s consent but does not specify how parents can provide consent. TikTok also distracts multiple kids from their schoolwork and disrupts their time for various productive activities. Instagram creates high rates of depression, body image, self-esteem issues and social anxiety.

The government passed a law stating that teens 13 years and older can use and own a social media account, passed by Congress in 1998 through the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Kids can interact and contact friends on social media and can maintain friendships online. People acquire recently updated information and use it as a way to raise awareness on various issues around the world, as well as learn about different cultures on social media. Social media helps people promote their businesses and assist them to become a sponsor for brands.

“I think the age limit now is good because I think social media now can be a dangerous place. Most especially girls can be very influenced and the same thing for boys too,” junior Adriana Reyes said.

The UK proposed legislation to enforce restrictions on underaged youth from social media. In Europe, social media like WhatsApp require a minimum age of 16. Instagram creates high rates of depression, body image, self-esteem issues and social anxiety. Massachusetts’s senator, Edward Markey, one of the original COPPA composers, intended to raise social media access to 16, but it did not work out. According to Daily Citizen, they suggest that social media platforms add a secondary mechanism, like the Social Security Administration by running background checks to verify ages. 

“Honestly, I’d say that right now our age [16] is also pretty bad because I have looked at other girls that put me down. It should be around the age of 16+. I definitely think that, I have a feeling that our government is too liberal to let such a law stand by because, in the UK and other countries, the people in charge have stronger control over the government unlike ours which is limited by our opinions,” junior Christine Olivera said.