Many parents are in an uproar to find out that one of their favorite apps for their children and themselves is now against the law. On Feb. 1 Buzzfeed reported that the Federal Trade Commission lobbied an $800,000 fine to the social networking site for families; Path.
Originally, Path started out as a social networking site that allowed anyone of any age. Parents could go on and sign their young children up for an account, regardless of age, so that they could talk only with their family and close friends that had been approved to have contact with the child. Because of outdated laws set forth by the FTC, it is illegal for children under the age of 13 to now own an account.
The platform is a very simple, linear design. There is an understated search engine that can be used on the page, emoticons for expressions, a way to share pictures with those on your list and nothing else. You aren't hassled to accept friend requests from people you don't know, and you aren't found easily.
Unfortunately, the app faces some huge challenges because of the 1998 law Children's Online Privacy Protection Act which pretty much ensures that all children will begin learning the Internet by lying so that they can use it. COPPA's issue is that Path allows children to post personal information about themselves which breaks the severely outdated law.
Have you ever used Path? Do you consider it to be a safer alternative to Facebook or Twitter for your young children?