Written by mobs4jg2
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Topics: Facebook

Monday, 29 October 2007

image for Facebook considered "Gateway website" by scientists
Before 2004, this was a facebook

Minsters today warned that it was reconsidering the decision to reclassify the social networking website 'Facebook' to grade C after scientists claimed to have evidence proving Facebook is in fact a 'gateway website' which can lead to use of 'harder websites'.

It had been claimed that the potentially addictive nature of the social networking website increases the likelihood of teenagers being exposed to 'harder websites' such as BBC News.

"As a parent, I don't want my children to become addicted to news about the real world," says Joanne from Blackpool. "If the government says facebook is 'okay', how do I then go about explaining to them that I don't think it is acceptable, or the 'difference' between it and other informative websites?

"Regardless of whether facebook is considered to be addictive, it is still a gateway to far more informative websites."

Internet experts claim that 60% of teenagers with access to the internet check their facebook accounts at least once a day, with many checking many more times than that.

Defenders of facebook claim that it is far less dangerous than the current trend of 'binge buying' on websites such as eBay.

"People who use 'facebook' recreationally are doing far less harm to their bank accounts than 'binge buyers' on eBay," said Tim who has been using Facebook for 2 years. "I check my facebook as soon as I get up and it just chills me out for the rest of the day, 'Binge buyers' get aggressive when they bid too much or get 'out bided', but that doesn't happen with facebook."

Recent studies have shown that heavy users can experience depression and anxiety if their internet supply suddenly stops, a side effect similar to that of anabolic steroids.

Regardless of the decision the government makes it is unlikely to stop teenagers using the website socially and risks criminalising a large proportion of society.

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