Facebook on Tuesday released tips on ‘Safer Internet Day’ even as a survey by BBC Children Television stated that eight in every 10 underage children are on social media.
Despite Facebook’s policy that sets the age limit of users at 13, the survey stated that on the contrary, one in every five 10 to 12 year olds have been bullied online. It also states that eight out of ten 10 to 12 year olds have at least a social media account.
“In Kenya more than 5 million people come to Facebook each month, and partnerships are fundamental to serving Kenyans who use our product,” said Ms Ebele Okobi, head of public policy Facebook Africa in an interview on Tuesday, “Here in Kenya, Watoto Watch is a strong partner that works with us, to help us understand the needs and concerns of Kenyans in order to reflect this in our current and future policies.”
At an event in Nairobi’s Kempinski Hotel, to mark the global Safer Internet Day Tuesday 9, Facebook urged parents to be vigilant with their under age children and play a role in monitoring them online.
The social media giant told parents to share online moments with their children and be active in telling them to think before they act.
“Know who you are communicating with,” said Ms Antigone Davis, Head Public Safety at Facebook. She said that if strange people keep prodding under age children on Facebook, parents should inform their children to either block or unfriend them.
The Facebook policy team stated the need to report abusive content, pages, groups and events, giving the reasons why the pages should be pulled down.
With Facebook’s Free Basics especially in marginalised areas of the country, more under age Kenyans are prone to online abuse at a time when young girls are lured into abduction or early marriages.