It's no secret that Facebook bans tens of thousands of kids every day from trying to sign up for an account. And it's no shocker either that children lie about their age in order to get access, which can set them up for privacy or safety issues.
If your tot or tween has been begging for the ability to update her status, there are many safe, kid-specific social networks to choose from. These sites follow the regulations of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which regulates how much personal information sites can ask from children, among other things. Check out the list of the top social networking sites for kids after the break!
- Grom Social: When one 11-year-old got kicked off Facebook recently, he decided to start his own social network — no joke. The result is a space for kids to chat, share videos, get homework help, and more, with 24/7 live monitoring. Only adults who are parent-approved can join the site, and mom and dad receive regular e-mails updating them on their kid's online activity. Cost: free. Age: 15 and under.
- Everloop: The award-winning site calls itself a "social looping platform" because it creates a privacy loop around kids' connections and interests, be it sports, music, or jokes. Kids can add friends and engage with other kids online, but always under the watchful eye of their parents, who have their own monitoring accounts. Cost: free. Age: tweens.
- Fanlala: Touting itself as a tween celebrity social network, kids can engage in all types of games, quizzes, and content related to celebrities, television, movies, and music. Fanlala requires a credit card authorized-parent account before kids under age 13 can sign up. Afterward, they can join fan clubs or create groups with their friends. Cost: free. Age: tweens.
- Yoursphere: This site, which requires parents to go through a background check for verification before activating a child's account, lets kids create "spheres" and personal blogs based on interests such as sports, TV shows, and online games. Cost: free. Age: 18 and under.
- Kidzworld: Among celeb news, advice columns, and games is the KW Zone, the social networking part of the site with blogs, boards, and other fully moderated ways to connect with friends. Cost: free. Age: 9 to 14.
- giantHello: Often compared to Facebook, giantHello centers around social gaming but includes features like profile pages, photo uploading, status updates, and more. Before kids post personally identifiable information, giantHello requires parental approval. Plus, they can only invite friends via email, a code that's printed and delivered in person, or if they know someone through a mutual friend. Cost: free. Age: 7 to 13.