Should minors be able to register on Facebook? The social media network may open to users under 13

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  • SpaceCowboy69 Syracuse, UT
    July 12, 2012 11:30 a.m.

    The kids are already there. My son when he was 13 wanted a Facebook account because all of his friends were already there. After discussion with his mother and I, we decided to let him get an account. I was required to be friended by him so I could see what he was posting. He just falsified his date of birth. Not a big deal as long as parents are involved.

  • emck Albany, OR
    July 12, 2012 10:00 a.m.

    The kids under 13 are already on Facebook, and Facebook knows this. It's a challenge faced by every community site and social network where adults are the primary target audience, including the search engine/Q&A site where I work.

    We're sometimes surprised when a kid outs himself/herself as being under 13, because the quality of the contributions is more that of an adult; other times, we can spot underage kids a mile away by the quality (or lack thereof) of their communication skills.

    What does this mean for Facebook? I think it's a step to recognizing that the underage kids aren't going away from Facebook or any other online community without lots of barriers to overall participation. Legalizing participation places responsibility on parents rather than on Facebook for controlling content and managing the experience. Yes, it will increase ad views somewhat, but I doubt it will be an exponential increase since most of these underage kids are already on Facebook, having lied about their birth year in order to gain access.