Next to Join Facebook: Kids Under 13?
Site explores online child-safety measures
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 4, 2012 8:40 AM CDT
Facebook is looking into getting younger kids online.   (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

(Newser) – Facebook has long banned kids under 13, but that could be about to change: The site is investigating ways to let children join—with built-in parental supervision. For instance, kids' accounts might be tied to those of their parents; mom and dad could get control over what apps kids can use and who they can friend. Doing so would give the site a chance to boost its number of users and rake in new revenue by edging in on the kids' games market.

Reports suggest that 7.5 million kids are improperly on Facebook anyway, and the site is facing growing criticism over kids' ability to lie their way online. And mom and dad aren't always in the dark: A 2011 study found 36% of parents knew their not-yet-teen is on Facebook, and a chunk of those parents helped their kid create an account. Still, observers are divided over the appropriate course of action: While Maryland's attorney general has called on the site to create a "safe space" for kids, others say Zuck and Co. should simply ramp up its communication with parents about why the site isn't the right place for youngsters. But the Wall Street Journal notes that the site frequently explores new technologies that never come to pass, so there's no guarantee the plan will actually ever happen.

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
InferiorToYou
Jun 4, 2012 5:26 PM CDT
Just what kids need--a permanent record.
gomer99
Jun 4, 2012 1:57 PM CDT
Any kid with enough savvy to click a mouse is ALREADY ON FACEBOOK -- and any XXX site he wants to go to. Whoooooo is shittin' whoooooo ? It is not up to Suck........uh.....Zuck, or any government enterprise to control, censor, or otherwise fuck with the web, because somebody MIGHT do something someone else might not like. Parents.......DO YOUR JOB But leave the web alone. FB will die, anyway........I just hope it suffers a lot before so.
WaxHouse
Jun 4, 2012 10:38 AM CDT
They are going to market this with games for children...which makes me hate this Zuckerburg guy more than ever. I wish he would stop having these big speeches like he is unveiling something useful, like he is a Steve Jobs type of CEO. Facebook doesn't advance our species in any way. It's just a big advertising machine and a big database of people that makes money for the company. They need children to sign up now because the IPO prices are not going well. I hope this company goes away like Myspace.