Could teenagers be banned from joining social media?

It would mean young teens would need parental permission to join social media sites

Social media, teenagers, parental consent, Facebook, Twitter, European Parliament, fines

General view of social media apps Facebook, Twitter and Instagram displayed on an iPhone 5 | Image: Edward Smith / EMPICS Entertainment

The European Parliament may introduce new regulations which would see restrictions placed on the social media use of teenagers under the age of 16. 

Lawmakers will vote on this issue on Thursday.

If passed would mean that young teens would need parental permission to join social media sites.

The new regulations would make it illegal for companies to handle data from anyone 15 years or younger without parental consent.

It is a last-minute amendment to new rules on data protection.

The Financial Times says companies must comply with this, and a host of new regulations, or face big fines of up to 4% of global turnover.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic. She says it is questionable as to how the likes of Facebook could police such rules.

"They try and find out if your profile isn't real - like if you're representing a wrong person - and they have shut down profiles for those reasons" she told Newstalk Breakfast.

"They have a real name policy that annoys a lot of people because they have to go by their real name on Facebook - so they are checking accounts for activities that are going against what they say they are".

"So they probably could invest some algorithm to track whether you#re 13 or 16 - but at the end of the day you could just say 'Oh well my mam said I could sign up to it'" she added.