Forget tweens, U13 may be the newest addition to The Social Network.
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Facebook are said to be developing technology which would allow children to access The Social Network with parental supervision, reports WSJ.
This could be achieved by connecting the child’s Facebook account to their parents, so they would have control over their offspring’s online activities on the network.
This technology, if it comes to pass, would allow Facebook to get around the current child protection legislation in the US.
However, many under 13s already have Facebook accounts anyway by giving false information, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Co are making a major effort make minors more secure when socialising with millions online.
‘Zucks’ has already made his belief minors should be given access to the social network and letting U13s become legit members of the 900 million + community could be a very lucrative move, and increase revenue streams for gaming, entertainment and other kid friendly in-app purchases.
There are said to be 7.5 million under 13 members on FB last year, one survey has indicated.
The Social Network finds it hard to police underage Facebooking and said “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.”
However, the Social Network has come under fire from US law makers who believe giving kids access to Internet social networking is not a responsible way for the (now listed) network to make money, and could have a “harmful impact” on minors, reports San Francisco Gate.
Co-chairmen of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, Congressmen Edward Markey and Joe Barton sent a letter to Facebook boss Zuckerberg this week outlining their concerns.
“While Facebook provides important communication and entertainment opportunities, we strongly believe that children and their personal information should not be viewed as a source of revenue” the letter stated.
“We are deeply concerned that the changes discussed by Facebook could potentially have a harmful impact on our children.”
If under 13s were allowed in, Facebook would have to adhere with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires websites to get consent and notify parents before collecting personal data from minors.