Too young for Facebook, an 11-year-old takes the Internet into his own hands. The rest is Web history
Even though he was two years too young to join the social network, 11-year-old Zachary Marks signed up for Facebook, anyway. Less than a week later, this happened:
I spent all my time on the computer chatting with friends. Then, I made mistakes. One of my adult friends cursed and posted something inappropriate, and I cursed back. Also, I friend-requested grownups who I did not know. About a day later, my dad found out. He was really mad. I had to deactivate my account.
And so begins the story of Grom Social, the social networking site for the 15 and under set that Marks founded after being summarily booted from Facebook. Even though there are other kid-friendly networks he could have joined, none really appealed to the preteen. “They were all childish,” he told the “Today” show.
So Marks set out to “create a social networking place for kids that was cool with sick graphics,” according to the About Grom page. And he did. Seriously. The interface is surprisingly well developed. Sure, it’s neon-bright and overloaded with content and applications for everything from chatting, video-sharing and news to homework help, but kids totally love that kind of sensory assault. (Case in point.)
Marks isn’t doing it alone. There’s a cadre of adults who contributed– as Web designers and childhood education experts. Their credentials are no joke. The site isn’t either.
Besides the team of Grom “helpers,” the only adults allowed to join the site must be parent-approved. Parents also receive regular updates on their child’s online activity via email. And for other foul-mouthed youngsters — like Marks himself — there is a language filter to keep cuss words off the site. Grom currently has more than 7,000 active members, and that number grows every day.
And for those of you who think an 11-year-old founding his own social network so he could stay connected is just a little extreme, consider this: CBS News reported this week that a Sacremento teenager drugged(!) her parents with sedative-laced milkshakes so she could stay online past her Internet curfew. Kids these days, man!
More Related Stories
- I don't hate millennials anymore!
- You only hate grad school because you think you're supposed to
- Developers evict historic women's shelter to build luxury hotel
- Kaitlyn Hunt refuses plea offer, will go to court over high school relationship
- The secrets of cicada survival
- Nobody "needs" to rape
- Catholic Church in market for more exorcists
- Report: Nearly a quarter of all Americans struggle to afford food
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Boy Scouts to members: Just don't be a gay adult
- Anonymous rallies behind Kaitlyn Hunt
- Mistrial in penalty phase of Arias case
- My text blew up in my face
- Boy Scouts end ban on openly gay boys
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- Billionaire hedge funder: Babies, breast-feeding "kill" focus, keep women from succeeding
- "Bookless library" set to open in Texas
- Man arrested for sending Craigslist sex party to neighbor's house
- Greek yogurt, toxic waste hazard?
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11