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.