Skip to main content

Proposed bill gets strict on privacy, gives parents access to kids’ Facebooks

facebook parentsA recent Consumer Reports survey found that roughly 7.5 million Facebook accounts belong to users younger’ than 13 and that as many as 20 million are under 18. While that might seem like a relatively low number given Facebook’s 500+ million users, being a minor with a Facebook account is increasingly becoming a scary thing: Cyber-bullying on the site has reached frightening proportions and child predators are a well known concern associated with the site.

Considering Facebook’s apparent reach with children and the risks associated with having an account, it’s surprising it took this long for a bill giving parents increased access to their kids’ profiles to be proposed. Senator Ellen Corbett is behind California SB 242 or the Social Networking Privacy Act, which forces Facebook and other social networking sites to give parents administrative control over these accounts. Parents would be able to ask Facebook to remove images or text and the social network would have to comply within 48 hours – or else they could be fined $10,000.

For now, the bill has only been proposed in California, so those would be the only parents lucky enough to have such powers. Of course, with such power comes responsibility, and Facebook isn’t entirely certain parents can handle it. Spokesman Andrew Noyes called the bill a “serious threat,” and it stands to reason that parents could abuse the system, asking for heaps of information to be removed from children’s profiles. There’s also the problem of objectivity: Some more conservative parents might want reasonably tame photos removed, or wall posts with foul language taken down – which could eventually become a large expense for Facebook not to mention the complicated moral objections this bill may raise.

The bill reaches even further, insisting that it would used to keep family members of social networking account holders safe. Sites like Google, eHarmony, and would also be subject to this legislation. SB 424 would require users to go through their privacy options even before using the site, and prior to signing up at all users would be able to opt out of sharing their information.

Editors' Recommendations

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
How to make a GIF from a YouTube video
woman sitting and using laptop

Sometimes, whether you're chatting with friends or posting on social media, words just aren't enough -- you need a GIF to fully convey your feelings. If there's a moment from a YouTube video that you want to snip into a GIF, the good news is that you don't need complex software to so it. There are now a bunch of ways to make a GIF from a YouTube video right in your browser.

If you want to use desktop software like Photoshop to make a GIF, then you'll need to download the YouTube video first before you can start making a GIF. However, if you don't want to go through that bother then there are several ways you can make a GIF right in your browser, without the need to download anything. That's ideal if you're working with a low-specced laptop or on a phone, as all the processing to make the GIF is done in the cloud rather than on your machine. With these options you can make quick and fun GIFs from YouTube videos in just a few minutes.
Use for great customization
Step 1: Find the YouTube video that you want to turn into a GIF (perhaps a NASA archive?) and copy its URL.

Read more
I paid Meta to ‘verify’ me — here’s what actually happened
An Instagram profile on an iPhone.

In the fall of 2023 I decided to do a little experiment in the height of the “blue check” hysteria. Twitter had shifted from verifying accounts based (more or less) on merit or importance and instead would let users pay for a blue checkmark. That obviously went (and still goes) badly. Meanwhile, Meta opened its own verification service earlier in the year, called Meta Verified.

Mostly aimed at “creators,” Meta Verified costs $15 a month and helps you “establish your account authenticity and help[s] your community know it’s the real us with a verified badge." It also gives you “proactive account protection” to help fight impersonation by (in part) requiring you to use two-factor authentication. You’ll also get direct account support “from a real person,” and exclusive features like stickers and stars.

Read more
Here’s how to delete your YouTube account on any device
How to delete your YouTube account

Wanting to get out of the YouTube business? If you want to delete your YouTube account, all you need to do is go to your YouTube Studio page, go to the Advanced Settings, and follow the section that will guide you to permanently delete your account. If you need help with these steps, or want to do so on a platform that isn't your computer, you can follow the steps below.

Note that the following steps will delete your YouTube channel, not your associated Google account.

Read more