There has been a lot of talk lately about underage kids and Facebook, especially since Consumer Reports found that approximately 7.5 million Facebook users are 13 or younger. There are currently “guidelines” that prohibit underage kids from joining, but breaking these guidelines and policies requires nothing more than a 10-year-old lying about her year of birth on the Facebook sign-in page.
Parents who are concerned about their young children being exposed to too much too soon on the Internet would hope that the policymakers and higher-ups at Facebook would do everything in their power to ensure that more stringent practices are put into place. But Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and face of this social networking behemoth recently expressed his desire to do just the opposite and change the site’s regulations to allow children under 13 to join.
According to CNN, Zuckerberg, at the NewSchools Venture Fund’s Summit last week stated that he supports younger children joining Facebook and other social networking sites, claiming, “My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age.” There is currently a mandate called the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) that prevents sites that collect information about its users from taking anyone under the age of 13 as a customer. Zuckerberg wants this to change and said, “This will be a fight we take on at some point.” This learning that he’s referring to on Facebook and other sites are currently not even being taken advantage of by younger kids. Zuckerberg stated, “Because of the restrictions we haven’t even begun the learning process. If they’re lifted then we’d start to learn what works. We’d take a lot of precautions to make sure that they are safe.”
If there were more safety precautions put into place, would you let your underage child join Facebook?
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