Facebook mulls accounts for under-13s

Facebook is considering changing its rules to allow children younger than 13 to have personal profiles on its site under some form of parental supervision, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
Although many children younger than 13 have Facebook accounts, they have to lie to get them since the site's terms of service require users to be at least 13. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

Though Facebook bans children under 13 from setting up accounts on its website, millions of them manage to get profiles anyway by lying about their age.

Now, the company is testing out ways to allow younger kids on its site without them having to lie about their age.

It would be under parental supervision, such as by connecting children's accounts to their parents' accounts or allowing them to veto whom their kids can add as friends on Facebook.

That would allow Facebook to comply with U.S. regulations regarding children under 13 online.


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The Wall Street Journal reported on the development Monday. It could be a long way off, or never get implemented, as happens with many features that Facebook tests.

In a statement, Facebook says it is in ongoing dialogue with stakeholders, regulators and other policymakers about how best to help parents keep their kids safe online.

Last year, Consumer Reports released the results of a survey that suggested that out of the 20 million children who used Facebook in the past year, 7.5 million were younger than 13.