Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dirty Trick Google Plus Upset Little Children

This weekend a friend of my ten year old son invited him to Google Plus.  I figured there was the usual age limitation of 13 years old, but the invite didn't say, so I figured I would let him give it a shot.  It asked for his name and birth date.  We entered the information trying to be honest.  Once we clicked the button to sign up the system gave him an error message stating that he was not old enough and it said that it had disabled all of his Google services, including his email that he has been using for years.

When I signed up for the account years ago there was nothing that said there was an age limit, so to disable his email because he tried to sign up for another service is garbage.  To make it worse, there was no way for him to get his emails and contacts out of it.

As has been stated by other people online who had the same thing happen to their children, he had conversations from friends and relatives.  He had also just sent a message to a friend who now will reply and not know what happened.

Technically it was my account that I gave to him to use.  I have heard that schools can approve accounts for kids with a signed paper from their parents.  Why as a parent can I not decide if I want my kid to have the service, even without a school acting as an intermediary?

There was an option for him to use a credit card to verify his age if he was old enough, but it was cost him 30 cents.  I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt that it is the amount the the credit card company is charging for them to do a small transaction.  I assume they aren't using this as a profit mechanism.

I also realize that they are trying to come in compliance with some stupid government regulation to "protect" children, but what a rotten way to implement it.  This doesn't protect kids, it just makes them sad.

My son had been doing just fine with his email account for a long time without the government's "protection".

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