Facebook doesn’t allow users under the age of 13, so then, why are nearly 38% of the minors on Facebook under 13-years of age?
Somebody’s lying, and it’s not just the kids.
Many believe that it’s Facebook’s policy that requires users to be at least 13.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently made his feelings pretty clear — Not only does he believe pre-teens belong on Facebook, he plans to fight to change the laws intended to keep them off the site.
The reason it’s against Facebook’s policy for minor’s under the age of 13 to join Facebook is because of COPPA. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act requires that a user must be at least 13 years old to sign up for a website that collects personal information.
Zukerberg had this to say about COPPA:
My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age.
Does Mark Zukerberg really have the best interest of our children in mind?
Increasingly, advertisers are targeting younger and younger children in an effort to establish “brand-name preference” at as early an age as possible. This targeting occurs because advertising is a $250 billion/year industry with 900,000 brands to sell, and children and adolescents are attractive consumers: teenagers spend $155 billion/year, children younger than 12 years spend another $25 billion, and both groups influence perhaps another $200 billion of their parents’ spending per year.
Mark Zukerberg is right.
… for education you need to start at a really, really young age.
We shouldn’t be surprised, though.
Zukerberg didn’t exactly build Facebook for the betterment of society nor did he do it “for the kids.”
Although the law says, “No” to children under age 13, I know a number of parents who have decided to aid their children in breaking Facebook’s policy and the law.
Throwing caution, and COPPA, to the wind?
What lessons are we teaching our children?
Ironically enough, the same parents that expect their young minor children to be responsible online and follow their parents rules, are some of the same parents who broke the law to allow their kids on Facebook in the first place.
Despite Zuckerberg’s objections to COPPA, Facebook closes 20,000 underage user accounts per day.
If Facebook made it a higher priority, that number would probably be higher, since almost 40% of the minors that currently use Facebook are under age 13.
Zuckerberg has slightly changed his stance saying:
We’re doing a lot of things right now … but we’re not trying to work on the ability for people under 13 to sign up.
In the future, it makes sense to explore that. We would need to try to figure out a lot of ways to make sure they are safe. That’s extremely important. That’s not on the top of the list for things for us to figure out right now.
He still would like to see younger kids on Facebook, but at least he says he wants to keep them safe.
In the meantime, however, what can we do to make sure kids under thirteen stay off of Facebook?
Have you ever reported an underage user?
Would you report an underage user?
Do you let your kids under 13 on Facebook? Why?