By Sara Bernard
Technically, Facebook doesn't allow kids under the age of 13 to register for the site. That hasn't stopped pre-teens from simply lying about their birthdates.
But kids under 13 don't have to be left out of the social media world. A growing number of highly protected, kid-only sites offer viable alternatives to the unfiltered Internet world out there that allow children to exercise their social media muscles (something they're going to do anyway) without running into online predators or inappropriate content.
Of course, it's still just as important to educate kids about Internet safety and appropriate online behavior as it is to create technological barriers between them and unsafe situations.
"As a teacher I see it as my responsibility to teach students how to engage with their peers online in a healthy and productive way," writes teacher Catlin Tucker in response to an article about how social media is changing education. "Online communication is rapidly becoming an essential life skill. Shouldn’t we as teachers support students in learning and mastering this skill?"
To that end, here are eight kid-friendly social media options: