WSJ: Facebook considering under-13 access

A new report from The Wall Street Journal indicates Facebook is considering allowing access to the social media network to individuals under the age of 13.

The report states the access would only allow children younger than 13 access permission to join the social network under parental supervision. To provide that supervision, the company is developing new technology that will tie a parent's account to their children's account. Parents would then have control over who their child can add as a friend and what Facebook applications are available. Sources told The Wall Street Journal that Facebook could charge parents for "games and other entertainment accessed by their children."

When questioned by The Wall Street Journal about the new technology, Facebook issued a statement that neither confirmed nor denied its development. The statement does state the company is considering how to keep children safe on the Internet when parents want them to be involved in online services.

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

Currently, children under the age of 13 are not allowed to register on the social network. That hasn't stopped some kids, however, as they'll simply lie about their age when registering for an account on Facebook. Facebook rival Twitter previously banned individuals younger than 13, although the social network's current terms of service no longer include any age stipulations.

Via: Engadget
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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41 Comments

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oh god no. i'm friends with my little brother and a few of his 7th grade friends and their spam shows up in my news feed every now and then. they are just too immature at that age to appropriately use the service

I don't think it matters a whole lot anyways to be honest. Plenty of kids already have Facebook.
At least if Facebook allows under 13 then they can regulate it easier, and potentially make it safer for children too.

My 13 year old daughter has begged me since she turned 13 to let her have a facebook account because her "friends" have one. Problem is with all the facebook stalkers, cyber bullying, pedophiles, etc out there now, you just can never be to safe. If facebook created some sort of completely limited account for kids, where everything that happens on that account gets sent to the "parent" account, like this is kinda saying, then that would definitely help

Here's an idea: only allow her on the computer when you are there to supervise, and lock the computer down so she cannot access it without your permission. Create the account for her, but don't let her know the password (so she can't access it on other friends' computers, for example).

roadwarrior said,
Here's an idea: only allow her on the computer when you are there to supervise, and lock the computer down so she cannot access it without your permission. Create the account for her, but don't let her know the password (so she can't access it on other friends' computers, for example).

Or tell her to go outside, or call her friends on the damn phone. Or any of a billion other things that are better for a growing child than wasting time on Facebook.

threetonesun said,

Or tell her to go outside, or call her friends on the damn phone. Or any of a billion other things that are better for a growing child than wasting time on Facebook.

C'mon you know it's not a valid comment to say such things in such a sweeping statement. There is no issue with someone writing their diary on facebook with a few photos per day/week. That doesn't need to take up all their life, does it?

I agree with parental supervision until they are old enough. But you decide when they are mature enough, not some mythical age limit.

imachip said,

C'mon you know it's not a valid comment to say such things in such a sweeping statement. There is no issue with someone writing their diary on facebook with a few photos per day/week. That doesn't need to take up all their life, does it?

I agree with parental supervision until they are old enough. But you decide when they are mature enough, not some mythical age limit.

Get off my damn lawn!

Seriously though, I think we'll learn 20 years from now that there are issues with people being so connected, especially children who already interact with their friends at school. This is just my non-educated opinion.

threetonesun said,

Get off my damn lawn!

Seriously though, I think we'll learn 20 years from now that there are issues with people being so connected, especially children who already interact with their friends at school. This is just my non-educated opinion.

It seems that you and some other posters above don't realize that it is entirely possible (and actually rather common) for kids to have friends that they don't go to school with, and might not even live in the same city, state, or even country! There are also these people called relatives who often might not get to see each other for months or years at a time.

I thought most places disallow anyone under 13 having an email address, unless facebook starts their own email service. This is a great idea for child predators!

The Laughing Man said,
I thought most places disallow anyone under 13 having an email address, unless facebook starts their own email service. This is a great idea for child predators!

The law doesn't ban children under 13 from signing up for online services, but it imposes such strict restrictions that few online services really bother to implement them. Plus, no one wants the kind of "child predator" attention that might happen if your system fails.

the420kid said,
i pay nothing for facebook and i dont look at their ads. does anyone?

You don't have to click on an ad for Facebook to get paid. Ever heard of "Cost per impression"? It's basically no different from a TV ad since you don't have to interact with it for the advertiser to get some value from it (though clicking derives more value but costs more).

the420kid said,
i pay nothing for facebook and i dont look at their ads. does anyone?

You don't have to use their ads at all. They already have your name, gender, location, and lots more information that will earn them their revenue.

the420kid said,
i pay nothing for facebook and i dont look at their ads. does anyone?

The issue is not who looks at the ads but which entities grabs hoards of details about the people who use FB..........

the420kid said,
13 and under kids with no money. sounds like a terrible business decision.

Children get older!

"Get 'em hooked when they are young" is always very good business practice.

the420kid said,
13 and under kids with no money. sounds like a terrible business decision.
Do you pay facebook? Should probably understand how Facebook makes its money before giving them business advice.

Martin5000 said,

Children get older!

"Get 'em hooked when they are young" is always very good business practice.

FB wont be around in 5 years when they might actually have some money.

the420kid said,
13 and under kids with no money. sounds like a terrible business decision.

End of second paragraph:
Sources told the Wall Street Journal that Facebook could charge parents for "games and other entertainment accessed by their children."

Anthony Tosie said,

End of second paragraph:
Sources told the Wall Street Journal that Facebook could charge parents for "games and other entertainment accessed by their children."

Not to mention all the money from Justin Bieber advertisements.

Anthony Tosie said,

End of second paragraph:
Sources told the Wall Street Journal that Facebook could charge parents for "games and other entertainment accessed by their children."

interesting read - i guess im not the only one who is thinking ahead:

Facebook Will Disappear in 5 to 8 Years: Analyst
http://www.cnbc.com/id/47674474

netwokz said,
Why do kids under 13 need to use Facebook? They are at school. Isn't that their Facebook?

that's like saying why do kids have cell phones and text each other... when they are standing side by side....

netwokz said,
Why do kids under 13 need to use Facebook? They are at school. Isn't that their Facebook?

Dude when I was 11, I was already using forums, let alone the less-strangers-on-it Facebook. & WTF does Facebook have to do with school?

netwokz said,
Why do kids under 13 need to use Facebook? They are at school. Isn't that their Facebook?

Isn't the workplace everyone else's Facebook?

Uh, no.

neufuse said,

that's like saying why do kids have cell phones and text each other... when they are standing side by side....

Well yeah. It is. I also don't see why kids that age need phones.

MASTER260 said,

Dude when I was 11, I was already using forums, let alone the less-strangers-on-it Facebook. & WTF does Facebook have to do with school?

While I can understand that, are you friends with people on Facebook that you do not know outside of Facebook? I just don't see very many kids having friends that they don't see at school, no I did move around a lot when I was a kid, but I just don't think its a good idea.

mikeyx12 said,

Isn't the workplace everyone else's Facebook?

Uh, no.

No its not. I have a lot of friends that I don't work with. But at 13 or younger, who would they know that they don't see at school?

MASTER260 said,

WTF does Facebook have to do with school?

From wiki haha
"A face book or facebook is a printed or online directory found at American universities consisting of individuals' photographs and names"

facebook sucks who cares, i've an internet cafe and they're are already loads of kids under 13 using facebook, it ain't that hard...

netwokz said,

No its not. I have a lot of friends that I don't work with. But at 13 or younger, who would they know that they don't see at school?


Relatives who live in different cities. Friends from other schools. Friends from church. The list could go on and on.

netwokz said,

No its not. I have a lot of friends that I don't work with. But at 13 or younger, who would they know that they don't see at school?


Most people with good friends from work have them on Facebook as well. Why would they do that if they see them at work?

As for the under-13s, what about after school and weekends? What about family, like cousins etc.? What about online games with/against friends? Discussing homework?

As roadwarrior said, the list goes on.

netwokz said,
Why do kids under 13 need to use Facebook? They are at school. Isn't that their Facebook?

Hahaha You seem to be forgetting how facebook originated.

As for the article, this is a marketeer's dream. Think of the potential advert revenue.

netwokz said,

No its not. I have a lot of friends that I don't work with. But at 13 or younger, who would they know that they don't see at school?


Exactly. It really doesn't make much sense...

And I don't really see why a parent would want their child to use Facebook either...