Zuckerberg suggests younger kids will be on Facebook in future

  on May 23 2011 12:16 PM

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is determined to let children younger than 13 to have access to his social networking behemoth in future despite an influential Senate panel coming out strongly against diluting the online security of young children.

In the future, software and technology will enable people to learn a lot from their fellow students, Zuckerberg said at the NewSchools Summit in California, according to CNNMoney. Education is clearly the biggest thing that will drive how the economy improves over the long term, he said.

It was revealed recently in a survey that as many as 7.5 million Facebook users were younger than 13, the age bar Facebook has set for anyone accessing the network. The Consumer Reports study shows that millions of young Facebook users may have lied about their age to get access to the social networking site.

The Senate Commerce Committee, which held a sitting last week, had heard comments like Mark Zuckerberg lacked social values, that the teenage founder was focused on his business model, and that the company employs very few people for monitoring the posts made by hundreds of millions of users.

Panel Chairman John D. Rockefeller particularly came hard on Zuckerberg, suggesting that the tech wizard didn’t care for social values.I think he was focused on how the business model would work ... He wanted to make it bigger and faster and better than anybody else ever had, Rockefeller said.

Pointing out that Facebook paid scant attention to monitoring the billions of posts in the site, Rockefeller said this apathy is putting children in danger. He said by allowing under-age children access to the site and not monitoring what is taking place over there, children are exposed to sexual predators.

I want you to defend your company here because I don't know how you can, the Senator told a Facebook top executive who attended the hearing.

Under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), children under 13 are not allowed to join an online service which collects user information data.

But Zuckerberg sees a future in which younger children will join networks like Facebook. That will be a fight we take on at some point. My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age, he said.

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