Should Kids Under 13 Use Facebook?

Mark Zuckerberg reportedly wants to lower the minimum age requirement for acquiring a Facebook account. Right now, the minimum age for signing up on Facebook is 13 — a standard set by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act which doesn’t allow Web sites that gather data about users to sign on members under the age of 13. Facebook, of course, collects a whole slew of information about users, repeatedly frightening privacy advocates even on an adult level.

The problem is that children under 13 are already using Facebook. The June issue of Consumer Reports found that 7.5 million users Facebook users are below the required minimum age of 13. And get this: five million of them are ten or younger. These young Facebook users only have to lie about their age to set up a Facebook account, but then continue to provide information about themselves to Facebook. To help protect these kids — and Facebook — Facebook removes about 20,000 underage users per day.

In light of these numbers, it seems Zuckerberg feels he might as well give in to the monster he created and allow younger children to legally take part in Facebook by lowering the age. Lowering the age will allow Facebook to become more of an educational tool.

“In the future, software and technology will enable people to learn a lot from their fellow students,” Zuckerberg said. “My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age.”

But how young is too young? And who is going to keep an eye on all these super-young kids as they embark unmoderated in the “Wild Wild West” that is social media? The good thing is that Consumer Reports found that one third of parents keep an eye on their underage children who use Facebook. Obviously, that means a majority of kids are going unsupervised, which is a scary prospect, especially in light of the types of bullying and harassment that often occur via social media and on Facebook. Is allowing children under 13 on Facebook really a good thing?

Let us know what you think in the comments!

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  • http://twitter.com/maryheston Mary Heston

    No – the COPPA laws are in place for a good reason. If Zuckerberg is truly interested in an educational tool for our youth then he can create a site just for that and then have it designed specifically for kids under the age of 13. If he wanted the site to collect information on each individual he could go through all the proper steps of protecting our kids that other legitimate sites like buildabearville.com, club penguin, gianthello.com, kidzui.com or other sites of that integrity, go through to protect our kids.

    Short answer NO. under 13 is too young.

  • Adam Lumer

    It’s a pointless argument. I know of many kids that are underage using Facebook. If they want to use it they will eventually find a way to sign up.

  • Adam Lumer

    It’s a pointless argument. I know of many kids that are underage using Facebook. If they want to use it they will eventually find a way to sign up.

  • http://twitter.com/AmirulAbu Amirul Abu

    for me, facebook should make something facebook-like features but targeted to kids, so the privacy can be controlled and differ than the real facebook. make it more kid friendly.

  • Guest

    for me, facebook should make something facebook-like features but targeted to kids, so the privacy can be controlled and differ than the real facebook. make it more kid friendly.

  • Guest

    for me, facebook should make something facebook-like features but targeted to kids, so the privacy can be controlled and differ than the real facebook. make it more kid friendly.

  • Anonymous

    I’d say twelve to be honest, considering the age of criminal responsibility is ten in the United Kingdom and nowadays children are more mature.

    Another thing I’d like to say, I’m rather large for my age, now, what sort of child molester would be able to or want to attack or harm a 5ft 11in rugby-playing kid? :)

  • Anonymous

    I’d say twelve to be honest, considering the age of criminal responsibility is ten in the United Kingdom and nowadays children are more mature.

    Another thing I’d like to say, I’m rather large for my age, now, what sort of child molester would be able to or want to attack or harm a 5ft 11in rugby-playing kid? :)

  • Anonymous

    I’d say twelve to be honest, considering the age of criminal responsibility is ten in the United Kingdom and nowadays children are more mature.

    Another thing I’d like to say, I’m rather large for my age, now, what sort of child molester would be able to or want to attack or harm a 5ft 11in rugby-playing kid? :)

  • Anonymous

    I’d say twelve to be honest, considering the age of criminal responsibility is ten in the United Kingdom and nowadays children are more mature.

    Another thing I’d like to say, I’m rather large for my age, now, what sort of child molester would be able to or want to attack or harm a 5ft 11in rugby-playing kid? :)

  • Colton Hooke

    I’d say if you do, just have much more stronger privacy settings for them. Have more protection for them and possibly parental controls for users under 13.

  • Colton Hooke

    I’d say if you do, just have much more stronger privacy settings for them. Have more protection for them and possibly parental controls for users under 13.

  • Colton Hooke

    I’d say if you do, just have much more stronger privacy settings for them. Have more protection for them and possibly parental controls for users under 13.

  • Colton Hooke

    I’d say if you do, just have much more stronger privacy settings for them. Have more protection for them and possibly parental controls for users under 13.