Many privacy and safety advocates won't agree with Facebook's next decision.The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is testing technology that would let kids under 13 in on the social action.
As it is right now, you can't use Facebook if you're under 13. But of course, from all the parents I've spoken to, most of their kids, under 13, have an account. The trouble with that is that its easy enough for younger kids to lie their way into the social network. WSJ says that Facebook hopes the new tech would help the company deal with the difficulties of enforcing age restrictions online:
Mechanisms being tested include connecting children's accounts to their parents' and controls that would allow parents to decide whom their kids can "friend" and what applications they can use, people who have spoken with Facebook executives about the technology said. The under-13 features could enable Facebook and its partners to charge parents for games and other entertainment assessed by their children, the people said.
The WSJ points to a recent study indicating that 36% of parents knew their kids signed up for Facebook when they were under 13, and that many helped their kids do it. So if they are going to be on Facebook anyway, its best to be able to supervise them.