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Speak Out: Facebook Considers Lowering Age Requirement

At what age should children be allowed on Facebook?

 

Is your 10-year-old child ready for Facebook?

In an attempt to bolster the bottom line for investors, Facebook is considering lowering its minimum age of 13 to register, The Washington Post reports.

"The move highlights what analysts say will be a recurring problem for the newly public firm: Facebook needs to find ways to increase revenue and please its shareholders, but those actions can stir privacy concerns," The Post reported. 

Since its beginning, Facebook has slowly broadened its scope from being restricted to college campuses to opening access to the general public. Now, Facebook's minimum age requirement is 13, and users who falsify their age to participate violate the site's terms and conditions.

"Facebook said it hasn’t made any final decisions on its plans for children, but it points to what it describes as a problem: Millions of underage kids are on its site already. A report funded by Microsoft recently showed that parents are often helping their children set up Facebook accounts," The Post reported.

While no decision has yet been made, Facebook says the move would allow the company to do a better job of monitoring bad behavior on the site, rather than wasting energy trying to keep youngsters away. 

Lawmakers from Massachusetts to Texas are writing the social media giant in opposition to the plans. In Maryland, officials have already voiced concerns with how Facebook affects the young children who already use it.

This spring,  at in Potomac to educate parents on how to better protect their kids on Facebook and other social media. Titled "Facebook 101," the presentation addressed social media dangers ranging from to cyberbullying and impersonation to posting inappropriate comments and pictures that can be seen by anyone—including colleges and employers.

What do you think? Should Facebook lower its age requirement to boost revenue for shareholders? Is trying to maintain an age requirement a losing battle anyway?


Maria Fusco June 08, 2012 at 12:19 PM
:) ~ Hi Teresa. One day we meet ~ Maria
Bora Mici June 09, 2012 at 05:25 AM
This article does not do a great job of citing sources and reads a little like a trendsetter article, but it has some good opposing viewpoints on how teens are behaving on social media these days: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-facebook-teens-20120531,0,5676320.story?page=1
Bora Mici June 09, 2012 at 05:27 AM
I don't know - she's so perfect but not
Katie Griffith June 10, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Thanks for the link, Bora!
Eleanor Cooke February 05, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Well I think that it's complicated... only parents know whether their kids ready for Facebook.... you can have 13 yr old that act 10 and 10 yr olds that act 13, so it should really be the parents choice. Maybe if they introduced an age limit of about 10 but children under 13s parent had to click on a link to verify the account or something - that way there'd be a reasonable age limit with parental permission?

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