Stop WhatsApp raising the age limit

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There's been a lot in the news about how social media leads to a loss of mental wellbeing. However, sites like WhatsApp are not only helpful for communication and organisation with your friends, but they encourage friendships to be kept over long distances. I personally have made friends at a camp over summer, and now, even though we live in three different countries, we can communicate and we're still friends now, nearly eight months later. I use WhatsApp to catch up on homework I might have missed, forgotten or lost and I can keep up to date with events that I am helping to organise/take part in. I can also talk with my extended family and see pictures of my small nieces and nephews as they grow up.

WhatsApp, in light of the new data protection act, is now raising the legal age of use to 16. This will mean that I, and most of my friends from both inside school and out, cannot use WhatsApp. I have no other social media, and I prefer it that way, because in WhatsApp, I know everyone I'm talking to and I don't feel the need to go on it constantly or get the 'likes' and 'followers' that other social media platforms make you feel like you need.

I understand that because of Data Protection, this seems like a good approach to go down, but it should be the parents decision whether their children should be allowed to use WhatsApp, as this decision affects them and their communication with their children too. Additionally, the Data Protection Act doesn't demand that users cannot be under 16, it just states that "Children need particular protection when you are collecting and processing their personal data"*. This means that children over 13 are legally still allowed on WhatsApp, it's just that their Data has to be handled specially.

Find out more about this at:

*According to the UK Information Commissioner:

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