Facebook requires its users to be 13 years old, though some research has indicated that as many as 38 percent of children on the site are under that age. This suggests that it’s not as difficult as it should be for underage children to join the site, and that Facebook may need to get better at policing its user base. However, one Israeli dad took matters into his own hands and created a safer social media alternative to Facebook for children called Nipagesh.
The man who invented the site, Itay Eshet, was asked by his 10-year-old daughter to join Facebook, and he said no, despite his daughter saying that all of her friends were on the site. Eshet instead launched a crowdfunding page for his idea, and also plans on creating an English version of the site called NetoKids. Children must get a code to access the site from a teacher, and all activity on the site is monitored by adults. They can also use the platform to collaborate on educational projects and receive assignments and feedback from teachers.
“Since at that age kids’ lives are centered around school, we decided to give them a platform that will enable them to connect with other kids with similar interests, share ideas and chats, and connect to school as well,” Eshet said.
The idea of a social network designed just for children is an intriguing one, and it certainly seems like an option that Facebook would consider exploring itself (if the outcry over violating the privacy of underage users was not too great).