Businesses are often responsible for discrimination against young people. For example, store bans are common. Across America, over 1,000 malls and shopping centers have banned young people in some capacity, often banning young people from being present without a legal adult on weekends. Bans on young people aren’t confined to malls either. A 7Eleven location in Washington, DC, only allowed two youths in the store at a time. 

While large chains don’t often have bans on young people, many individual stores, either part of a large chain or a local small business, often implement such bans; usually justified because one teen shoplifted, or by saying that young people are a nuisance to other customers. 

The internet isn’t a frontier safe from barriers either. Many websites and online services ban people from using their service if they are under a certain age, usually 16 or 18. ActBlue, an online service that handles donations to several politicians doesn’t allow people under 18 to donate through their service. Even the OpenWeatherMap API requires you to be 16 to use. Why does one need to be 16 to access weather data?

This is symptomatic of a greater prejudice against young people founded upon baseless claims that young people are incompetent and irresponsible. If businesses used such policies against any other group, there would be public outrage, and rightfully so. So, why is it acceptable to do this against young people?

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