WhatsApp lowers age restrictions in the UK and EU, sparking criticism that it puts children at risk

Meta's messaging app WhatsApp has lowered its age restriction in the UK and EU to 2024. This relaxation of restrictions means that anyone over the age of 13 can use WhatsApp in the UK and EU, but there has been a lot of criticism of the relaxation of restrictions.

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Privacy Policy - UK

WhatsApp's age restrictions vary by country, and in the UK and EU, children under the age of 16 were not allowed to use the service. However, on February 16, 2024, WhatsApp updated its UK privacy policy to lower the age restriction to under 13, allowing children over 13 to use the service.

Furthermore, the age limit in the EU will be lowered to 13 on April 11, 2024.

There has been a lot of opposition to Meta's relaxing of the age restriction on WhatsApp. For example,

Smartphone Free Childhood , an organization that raises awareness of the effects of smartphones on children, issued a statement slamming WhatsApp and Meta, saying, 'Relaxing the age restriction on WhatsApp sends the message to children that (messages) are safe. However, experts point out that they are not. We are tired of tech companies prioritizing profits over protecting children.'

Emma Webb, UK director of education network Common Sense Society , said of children using WhatsApp, 'It's like giving them cocaine.' 'There's growing evidence that social media has a hugely negative impact on young people's mental wellbeing and I strongly believe that young people should not be on social media.'

On the other hand, there are also voices in favor of relaxing WhatsApp's age restrictions. For example, Victoria Richards, an editor at the international media outlet 'The Independent' and mother of a 12-year-old daughter, points out that 'kids use WhatsApp to communicate with their friends. Even if we banned WhatsApp, they would just move to another app,' and argues that rather than banning the use of social media, it is important to discuss what is dangerous and what can be trusted.

Please note that age restrictions for WhatsApp vary by country, and in Japan it has long been available to anyone aged 13 or over.

in Mobile,   Software,   Web Service, Posted by log1o_hf