Should WhatsApp be age restricted to 16 in South Africa?

Should WhatsApp be age restricted to 16 in South Africa?

Soon teens in Europe under the age of 16 will not be able to make use of the popular messaging service. Should this age limit be enforced here in SA as well?


How often do parents let their 13-year-olds use WhatsApp without thinking anything of it? It's just a method to communicate with their friends, right?

Read: 'Do you call or WhatsApp?'

An app like WhatsApp is hugely popular because it offers cool features and capabilities that regular SMS texting doesn't. Not only are you able to message instantly on the platform, but you are also able to create groups, send pictures, videos, and, of course, use the ever-so-popular voice note function.

I find myself being so addicted to the platform. Like Facebook, it allows me to be connected to the world. But it seems that there are downsides too. Over the past few years, we've seen an increase in fake news and explicit videos circulating on the platform. I have a few friends who have kids and find themselves always concerned about what their kids will stumble across while using the service.

Read: WhatsApp's new update will simplify your life

Mashable recently reported that if you’re a teenager and you live in Europe, you’ll have to be at least 16 to use the service. The new law comes into effect from 25 May and will be compliant with the platform's new data rules which come into effect in the same month. Kids elsewhere around the world, including in SA, will be subjected to an age limit of 13.

What if this age restriction of 16 was implemented here in SA? Would it help in any way? I received a voice note from our very own Jane Linley-Thomas who shared her views on this topic:

What do you think? Should WhatsApp have an age restriction of 16 in South Africa? 

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