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Report: Facebook Weighing Access For The Under 13 Crowd

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
June 4, 2012

Perhaps in a effort to widen its reach, Facebook is exploring ways in which to officially open up its services to kids younger than 13.

That’s what The Wall Street Journal reported today adding that Facebook is already used by millions of kids who lie about their age.

The Journal reports:

“Mechanisms being tested include connecting children’s accounts to their parents’ and controls that would allow parents to decide whom their kids can “friend” and what applications they can use, people who have spoken with Facebook executives about the technology said. The under-13 features could enable Facebook and its partners to charge parents for games and other entertainment accessed by their children, the people said. …

“Any attempt to give younger kids access to the site would be extraordinarily sensitive, given regulators’ already heightened concerns about how Facebook protects user privacy. But Facebook, concerned that it faces reputational and regulatory risks from children already using the service despite its rules, believes it has little choice but to look into ways of establishing controls that could formalize their presence on the site, people familiar with the matter said.”

In response to the Journal, Facebook said it is in “continuous dialogue” with stakeholders about “how best to help parents keep their kids safe in an evolving online environment.” [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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