Sara Macauley | Contributing Writer | Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Europe Is Close To Banning Teens From Social Media

Europe Is Close To Banning Teens From Social Media

The Debrief: Stalking Kylie Jenner’s snapchats could be about to get a lot harder…

Teens under the age of 16 could be banned from social media sites Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and even email if they don’t have their parents’ permission, according to newly proposed EU laws.

 In a move which will affect internet-savvy teens all over Europe, the European Union are currently trying to push new regulations which amend the age of consent for the collection of personal data from 13 to 16.

 Obviously, a law like this one would mean changes for teens much bigger than losing out on the latest celeb gossip. The CEO of ConnectSafely, Larry Majid says: ‘social media, along with texting, is very often the way that teens reach out when they are in crisis.’

The proposed laws would unquestionably affect the way teenagers socialise and engage with each other, as well as having a huge impact on their sense of personal identity and self-esteem.

Jonathan Pollinger, social media consultant for Intranet Future, also suggests that teens ‘could well lie about age, and then they would avoid all the protection that is currently in place for them.’

16-year-old Jimmy Dougan uses social media to promote his theatre review blog, and says: 'It’s pretty ridiculous really. It’s the only place we get to voice our opinions and even if they did block us, we’ll just lie about our ages like we did when we got Facebook aged 12.'

Jonathan also suggests that it’s not just the social side of things we need to worry about: ‘16 year olds can find out about schools and universities on LinkedIn, and might be discouraged if they have to go to the hassle of asking parents. Overall, it’s a bad move, as it puts teens out of step with the world.’

The law is set to be discussed and negotiated between member states today, and once agreed will be voted on by committee on Thursday.

Speak up now teens, or forever hold your peace.

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Follow Sara on Twitter: @SaraMacauley_


Tags: Facebook et al