Julia has a problem with her 14-year-old son’s use of Instagram and Gmail and would like to take control of his accounts
Why do social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc deem children ‘adults’ in the vast and dangerous world of technology? My 14-year-old is engaging in a toxic relationship with a girl on Instagram. I am not allowed access to his account as it is protected by their user privacy protection agreement. How can a mother have their child’s account removed?
Earlier, I helped my son create a Gmail account for school purposes. I was not aware back then that there was something called Google Family Link. He used the account without any problems for years, but he has changed the password. There is explicit content in his emails that I need to get access to. As with Instagram, I cannot contact anyone at Google via phone, live chat etc, and helpful links keep sending me around in circles. How can I take back the account I created? Julia
The British government sets a minimum age for some things, such as drinking, driving and voting. It doesn’t have a minimum age for online activities. According to Ofcom (2015), 67% of five to seven year olds, 91% of eight to 11 year olds and 98% of 12 to 15 year olds use online services, and there are “walled garden” services – Moshi Monsters, Disney Club Penguin, CBeebies – that target much younger users than your son.