Facebook May Allow Users Under 13 [POLL]

Facebook may revamp its age requirements, according to reports; sound off in our Patch poll

Facebook has tapped into almost every demographic over the past few years—college students eager to tag photographs, Gen Xers seeking to reconnect with old classmates, and high schoolers all-too-happy to converse through the small chat box in the lower right corner.

Almost every demographic. But what about youngsters?

The social networking site currently bans users under the age of 13—but that may change in the near future.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook may be planning technology that would allow children under 13 to register for the site and give parents more control over how their kids use it. A child's account would link to their parents', who would then have control over apps, friend requests and other features.

The Journal says some 7.5 million pre-teens are on the site already, by lying about their age.

"Facebook, concerned that it faces reputation and regulatory risks from children already using the service despite its rules, believes it has little choice but to look into ways of establishing controls that could formalize their presence on the site," the Journal reports.

So, Patch wants to know: are you all for the change? Vehemently opposed? Or something else entirely? Vote in our poll below, and be sure to sound off in the comments.

Katie Ryan O'Connor June 05, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I have a near 11 year old (and younger) and I can't see the point, really. He does have a phone and sends and receives texts...that seems appropriate. It's all too much sometimes, isn't it?
Tyler Durden June 06, 2012 at 10:43 AM
The narcissistic, social-masturbation world of facebook is not fit for people of any age. When we meet face to face, and look each other in the eye, that is social networking.
Aidan June 06, 2012 at 12:39 PM
This entire issue is another societal burp. I'm sure that parents felt the same way transistor radios made the scene and the coming of cable TV. Everyone was certain that the end of civilization was just around the corner. This is new stuff. And we'll all handle just as we've handled other technological developments in the past. It's sexy and edgy now, but it'll all settle into its proper place in society soon enough. Every bit of new technology is not cause to walk the plank. For God's sake ... it is all, after all, a machine ... controlled by us. We're all acting as though this is the end of childhood or innocence or whatever. Relax.
Mom of Two June 07, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Aidan, I completely disagree with your statement "For God's sake ... it is all, after all, a machine ... controlled by us. We're all acting as though this is the end of childhood or innocence or whatever." Unfortunately, it IS the end of childhood and innocence. Children under the age of 18 (and many older ones as well) do not have the capacity to understand the repercussions of their actions. The ability to post anything on the internet, whether on Facebook, Tumblr, or any other social media site, provides a cloak of perceived anonymity and as a result, people say and do things online that they would never in a million years say out loud in a face-to-face situation. Ask any school guidance counselor and they will tell you that kids are suffering endlessly from overexposure to too much information, at younger and younger ages, and their self esteem is going right out the window. The exposure to all media, particularly that which promotes unrealistic expectations of how people should look, feel and act is damaging this generation in a way that no other generation before it has experienced. I constantly hear (mostly from people who don't have children, or who have very young children) that one should just turn off the TV, limit internet access, monitor what their children are doing. That sounds like good advice, until you consider that all media is available everywhere 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anyone determined enough will find a way to access the forbidden.
Aidan June 07, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I suggest you re-read what you've written. At first, you wanna shield kids from all of the murky junk out there ... but then you kind of admit that it is not goin' away. If that's the case, teach them how to deal with it. How to sift thru things and make some proper judgements. Age might have something to do with it, but you also have to take into account a certain level of experience you'd like your youngster to acquire. By age 16 or 18, well, kids might feel a sudden urge of independence and be less forthright in asking about such matters. You can't shut the world off no matter how hard you try. It will not clean itself up for you either. YOU have to prepare your child to deal with the good, the bad and even the ugly.


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