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UK Proposes Ban on Social Media “Likes” for Kids

Source: Facebook

As part of tough new rules aimed at protecting children’s online privacy, the United Kingdom has proposed placing a ban on children being able to “like” posts on Facebook and other social media sites.

According to the Associated Press, “tech companies would not be allowed to use “nudge techniques” or “reward loops” that encourage children to keep using a site.”

“Reward Loop” examples, according to Information Commissioner’s Office, include “likes” on Facebook and Instagram, along with “streaks” on Snapchat.

The Information Commissioner’s Office proposed a code of practice that applies to companies offering services in the U.K., even if they are based outside of the country. It includes 16 standards that must be met by apps, connected toys, search engines, social media sites, news and educational websites, and streaming or other online services, according to the AP.

It also calls for “high privacy” settings, “robust age-verification” mechanisms, and the disabling of location tracking.

“This is the connected generation. The internet and all its wonders are hardwired into their everyday lives,” Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement. “We shouldn’t have to prevent our children from being able to use it, but we must demand that they are protected when they do. This code does that.”


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