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Digital Citizenship Digital Technologies at Nations International School of Geneva

Should under 16s be using WhatsApp?

May 18, 2018
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WhatsApp Terms of Service

You may have seen this ‘Updated Terms Of Service And Privacy Policy’ pop up recently when you have been using WhatsApp. All WhatsApp users in ‘the European Region’ will be seeing it and the key thing to note is the change in minimum age. WhatsApp has changed the rules – if you live in the European Region you need to be 16 to legally use WhatsApp. For the rest of the World users should at least be 13 years old unless countries require a greater age.

If you live in a country in the European Region, you must be at least 16 years old to use our Services or such greater age required in your country to register for or use our Services. If you live in any other country except those in the European Region, you must be at least 13 years old to use our Services or such greater age required in your country to register for or use our Services. Source

Thoughts for parents and educators

How are you approaching this change with your children? Have you just ignored it? After all WhatsApp is a useful messaging app that many family use to stay in contact with each other… Does ignoring this regulation send a negative message to your child? Why might you enforce age restrictions when it comes to films or computer games but not in this occasion? Is that a mixed message?

More on the issue can be found here

BBC News – WhatsApp to raise minimum age limit to 16 in EU [25 April 2018]
Childnet International – Age Restrictions on Social Media Services [25 April 2018]

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