Facebook explores access for kids under 13

Jun 04, 2012
Indonesian children log on a Facebook page at an internet shop in Kuta in the resort island of Bali in February 2012. Facebook is working on technology that would permit children under the age of 13 to use the social network site with parental supervision, people familiar with the effort said.

Facebook is working on technology that would permit children under the age of 13 to use the social network site with parental supervision, people familiar with the effort said Monday.

Facebook currently requires members to be at least 13, but the new effort is being made because many children lie about their age to get access Facebook and its 900 million members, a source told AFP.

A Facebook spokesman told AFP no decision has been made on any policy change.

But a statement from the spokesman said the California company was exploring ways to handle children using Facebook.

"Many recent reports have highlighted just how difficult it is to enforce age restrictions on the Internet, especially when parents want their children to access online content and services," the statement said.

"We are in continuous dialogue with stakeholders, regulators and other policymakers about how best to help parents keep their kids safe in an evolving online environment."

The effort by Facebook to allow younger children, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, would use technology to allow parents to determine who their children can friend and what applications they could use.

The report noted that that many youngsters lie about their age, putting the company in an awkward position regarding a federal requirement to obtain parental consent before collecting personal data.

The Journal said the move may exacerbate privacy concerns about the massive social network, but that the company has little choice but to look into ways to establish controls that would take into account the site's use by younger children.

A source familiar with the effort said Facebook would comply with laws in the United States and other countries on child protections. These laws vary for country to country, with some being similar to US law and others having no law on online use by minors.

Explore further: Britain threatens Internet 'trolls' with two years in jail

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Why parents help their children lie to Facebook about age

Nov 02, 2011

A major new nationwide study released today, co-authored by Eszter Hargittai, associate professor of communication studies at Northwestern University, shows that many parents know that their underage children are on Facebook ...

Recommended for you

Facebook unfriends federal drug agency

Oct 17, 2014

(AP)—Facebook wants assurances from the Drug Enforcement Administration that it's not operating any more fake profile pages as part of ongoing investigations.

Obama unveils new measures to stem identity theft

Oct 17, 2014

US President Barack Obama on Friday ordered "pin and chip" security measures for government payment systems, aiming to stem the proliferation of credit card fraud and identity theft.

User comments : 0