Scuttlepad-First Social Network Only For Youngsters

MySpace, Facebook and other social networking sites might attract a lot of users under the age of 18, but there isn't really a site directed solely towards kids. ScuttlePad is hoping to fill that void.

ScuttlePad is intended only for children ages 6-11. (How many six-year-olds are on social networking sites? This brings back strange memories of the Twitter Twoddler.) Nevertheless, many of the familiar features are available. This includes uploading photos, sending/receiving messages, and making friends from all over the world.

The last part can seem a bit more sketchy, especially when it comes to minors, so there are some security precautions set up. Parents must set up the accounts via e-mail, profile information is very limited, all photos uploaded need to be approved by the site, and kids form status message sentences by clicking on pre-approved word lists.

While there's definitely a limit on available information (especially in comparison to the major social networking sites), it still seems like there is the potential for predators to sign up, even if they can't see very much. Also, how beneficial or necessary is it to have a social networking for kids that young anyway? But perhaps it will train kids how to better share (and not share) information online for when they enter their teens.

So, do you think that a social network for minors is a safer bet than letting kids on Facebook or MySpace? Or are social networking sites potentially dangerous for youth in general?

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