If you have children, most likely they’ve heard of Facebook and may have even asked you for an account. If they are under 13, you’ve previously been able to use the excuse, “I’m sorry, but even Facebook says you aren’t old enough yet.” However, that may be about to change.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is exploring options to allow children under 13 to participate in Facebook too. The idea that is circulating speculates that children 12 and younger will be able to have a Facebook page as long as it is attached to their parent or guardian’s own personal page. (Think about if you are a business owner and have a brand Facebook page. You are able to access that page purely through your own personal account, and the idea is that this would be similar to how children under 13 would be able to have their own account.)
Now, there is no denying that children under the age of 13 have been able to figure out how to get a Facebook page without being of age or having parental consent. In fact, many studies point to the idea that as much as “38% of children on Facebook are under 12” (reported by Mashable.)
Facebook has yet to confirm or deny the report by the Wall Street Journal, but did comment on the matter to Mashable with this statement: “Many 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 policymakers about how best to help parents keep their kids safe in an evolving online environment.”
How do you feel about the possibility that children under 13 may be able to use Facebook soon, but under parental supervision? Do you think this is a good way to regulate a child’s use of Facebook, or will children do whatever they want regardless of how Facebook may try to change their policies? Share your thoughts in the comments below!