Facebook For Kids: Social Giant Developing Network Access For Under 13 [REPORT]

  @ceylanwrites on June 04 2012 10:57 AM

Facebook is working to extend its reach by lifting age restrictions from the site and developing a social network for children that will be monitored by their parents, the Wall Street Journal reported. The current Facebook model being tested for children under 13 the creation of child's account that is linked to their parents' account. This will allow parents to have control over their child's privacy setting and will enable them to  monitor who their children friend.

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, Facebook said in response to questions about the new technology. 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.

Although Facebook currently holds age restrictions; the company is aware that many under age children open accounts by lying about their age. Facebook believes a service for children can help regulate under age activity on the site. 

Some 7.5 million users under the age of 13 are using Facebook worldwide, according to consumer reports obtained by the Wall Street Journal.  Only 36 percent of these children's parents are aware that they have a Facebook account, according to a study from Microsoft Research. 

As Facebook works to develop a  site for children, they have also been inquiring about how to get verifiable consent from parents via identity-verification provider, the Wall Street Journal reports.Many children use Facebook as a platform to play games with their friends, instead of share internet content, and therefore banning Facebook for children altogether has been deemed as an extreme measure. 

We would like to see Facebook create a safe space for kids to [use the site], a sanctuary, with the extra protections needed to ensure a safe, healthy, and age appropriate environment, Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler told the Wall Street Journal. 

Some child advocates are opposed to children joining Facebook altogether, even with parent's monitoring their accounts. 

We don't have the proper science and social research to evaluate the potential pros and cons that social-media platforms are doing to teenagers, James Styer, chief executive of Common Sense Media told the Wall Street Journal. The idea that you would go after this segment of the audience when there are concerns about the current audience is mind boggling.

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