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Under-Aged Facebook Users Increasing

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A study by London School of Economics recently gave an insight into the rise in number of under-aged social networking sites’ users. In a similar way to under-aged children playing computer games that are rated 18 and above such as Call of Duty etc., the study has revealed that one in every three children in the UK between the ages of 9 and 12 have their own personal Facebook page. This is in spite of Facebook’s minimum age requirement being 13 years. The research report, Social Networking, Age and Privacy, which looked at trends among 25,000 young people across Europe, also found 43% of children between the ages of 13 and 16 also had a Facebook account.

This finding has some serious implications when it comes to concerns about the privacy of children on the Internet. Moreso, because a quarter of 9 to 16 year old children on social networking sites across Europe were reported to have their profiles set to ‘public’ and one-fifth of children whose profile is public also display their addresses and/or telephone numbers. Furthermore, it shows that the age restrictions does little or nothing to prevent children who may want to sign-up to actually do so thus raising the question of whether age restrictions on social networking Websites should be removed entirely.

Talking Point

Is removing age restrictions from social networking sites such as Facebook, one of the best ways of improving child safety online?

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. kuptan

    July 2, 2011 at 5:43 am

    A careful study has given results that under age students are leaving their home work incomplete and giving time to facebook and online activities.

  2. Janis Gagliardi

    July 2, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Kids should stay away from social networking sites but the kids won’t accept that such sites are not meant for them because kids end up doing things they’re not suppose to do. As parents we frame rules for them but who’s going to watch their back wherever they go? Its really alarming to know that such young kids are exploring facebook. Its not advisable at all and facebook also have to think of a solution.

  3. Jacob

    July 3, 2011 at 11:07 am

    More like over-aged people joining facebook. Even my Grandma has it now, which is just scary!

  4. jaust

    July 4, 2011 at 4:46 am

    I hope facebook can come up with a way to help solve this kind of problem.. It could be a potential hazard.. kids should be kept safe…

  5. gboy

    July 4, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Its really alarming to know that such young kids are exploring facebook. Its not advisable at all and facebook also have to think of a solution.

  6. reeha

    July 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    i think Facebook can,t do anything to stop this problem. it only happens if they starts registering the Id cards number of every member however it is not an easy job to do.

  7. jandelaria

    July 5, 2011 at 4:45 am

    It certainly has become an alarming issue if kids are in potential danger.. Facebook is faced with a tedious job of providing a solution to the problem but I think the bigger responsibility falls on the immediate guardians of the kids! 🙂

  8. conroy

    July 6, 2011 at 5:54 am

    I agree that Privacy is the most concerning issue under aged users. These little fellows should be guided at the time of registration to facebook.

  9. mine

    July 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Facebook is increasing day by day and seems to compete Google badly. Kids of such age are joining facebook because of Apps factor. Teens and kids enjoy facebook apps a lot. Apps are the very strong factor to appeal users.

  10. Matt

    July 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    It doesn’t really surprise me, what with the press coverage that Facebook gets. This coupled with the fact that kids will be talking about their Facebook activites in the playground, I imagine there is a substantial amount of underage users. To combat this, Facebook should tighten their security and perform routine checks on users.

  11. jesty

    July 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    facebook has really become this popular, it even got kids to join it.. but now they must protect these users especially.. kids are very vulnerable to all sorts of danger online.. tsk tsk tsk..

  12. Jamal

    July 9, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Most of the users of facebook are under age users. They are wasting precious moments of life there.For internet market Google +1 is another good option.

  13. Nawaz

    July 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Facebook Should design some policy for the it’s users age wise.

  14. Raymund

    July 22, 2011 at 3:05 am

    In my country, if you are a young person and you don’t have Facebook, there is something strange in you and you may be tagged as uncool. I think that is one of the reasons why many underage people are joining FB to join the bandwagon

  15. Matt

    July 30, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    If Facebook was a British social networking site, joining at 12 years-old probably wouldn’t even be that much of an issue. For example, movies that would get a PG-13 in America, would be considered no problem for a 12 year-old in the UK.

  16. Trevor from Dallas Search Marketing

    August 10, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Facebook certainly has its place, but to kids it can be very dangerous. For a fictional account of the seriousness I saw a CSI episode where somebody created a fraudulent FB account of this little girl’s friend with a slightly different name spelling. The creep used FB chat to get her out of the house. Could happen in real life…

  17. Sandra

    September 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    They should enforce their age restrictions. Make it more difficult to sign up if you are under age.
    Not just to protect the children but also so Facebook doesn’t turn into a kinder garten.
    I see facebook as a medium of the generation that is within the 20’s and 30s now and under that. It becomes less interesting the more mainstream fb becomes. Older people using it, and kids. I’ve seen social networks that got taken over by kids and older people. Deserted by the young generation.

  18. Robert

    September 12, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Very interesting. “43% of children between the ages of 13 and 16 also had a Facebook account.” It would be interesting to see the demographics on the sampling of 25,000. I would imagine this is a privileged bunch because that number is awfully high. Great statistics btw.

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