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Over 7.5 Million Facebook Users Are Under 13

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the baby-book dept.

Facebook 194

liqs8143 writes "Of the 20 million minors who actively used Facebook in the past year, 7.5 million of them were younger than 13, according to projections from Consumer Reports' latest State of the Net survey. Facebook's terms of service require users to be at least 13 years old. Also among this group of minors using Facebook, more than 5 million were 10 and under. Consumer Reports' survey found that their accounts were largely unsupervised by their parents, exposing them to malware or serious threats such as predators or bullies."

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What is this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103628)

I'm 12 years old and what is this?

Re:What is this? (1)

seanvaandering (604658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105064)

Well I wouldn't agree that they don't know what their doing, but I did one time have some girl who stated she was 12 years old try to add me as a friend. I'm old enough to be her father, so needless to say, it was a bit awkward, not withstanding that I didn't even know how she was. Then she states "But i'm a mature 12 years old!"

Blocked and reported to FB. 10 minutes later her profile is completely gone and her name is no longer searchable.

I wouldn't be surprised if it was some kind of law enforcement agency, but if you admit your under 13, i'm going to immediately report you.

Huh (2)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103644)

There is no way it is that few.

Re:Huh (3, Funny)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103836)

90% of their users just behave like they're still 12.

Re:Huh (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105148)

And the other 10% are FBI agents.

Re:Huh (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104256)

Nobody knows ... you can lie about your age on Facebook ... and any survey did not actually verify the age of any users ...because they could have lied to the people doing the survey ...

My age on Facebook at one time was 99 years ...

Not surprising (0)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103648)

Facebook chooses advertising profit (all those users) over actively enforcing their TOS.

Facebook should be fined for this predatory practice. This is a nasty exploitation of children.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103692)

Facebook doesn't put a gun to their head and require them to open accounts.

I detest Facebook and every dullard who uses that shitty site, but this is hardly FB's fault.

Re:Not surprising (5, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103818)

Because children are culpable for their actions and know from a very early age about all of the dangers of using the internet, giving away personal information, and can accurately assess the risks involved with using social networking services. They also know, from birth, that roads are dangerous places, they shouldn't pick up used needles, and daddy's shotgun doesn't fire blanks.

children are stupid. The ones under 13 are very, very stupid. I know this because I work in education and have done for almost a decade. If they are unsupervised, they will press every button and click every link which has anything remotely to do with getting what they want, and no EULA will stop them.

This sits squarely on the parents. Not Facebook, not the children, but mom and dad who are fed up of bringing up their child and just want them to hit 18 ASAP. I'm not saying they should shoulder-surf 24/7 and only let them play Happy Fun Playground with Ponies and Sprinkles games, but actually taking the time to become involved in their internet use, or encouraging them in talking about the cool things they've learned or found, would be a start.

Re:Not surprising (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104102)

it is not facebooks' responsibility to keep it 'safe' for children in the same way it is not the state's responsibility to keep interstate roads safe for kids.. it's the job of the parents to keep kids away from the interstate unless properly restrained in a vehicle..even then there are no guarantees..

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104810)

You know, I wish this logic and reasoning was echoed in the SCAG meetings to give Australia an 18+ rating.

Re:Not surprising (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104132)

children are stupid. The ones under 13 are very, very stupid. I know this because I work in education and have done for almost a decade.

Nice generalisation there.

Facebook, and many other social network sites, ignore children. Wouldn't it be far better to officially allow access to the site for people of any age, but set a much more restrictive default set of privacy settings for those under 13? I think they already do this for anyone age 13-17.

Re:Not surprising (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104198)

Facebook, and many other social network sites, ignore children.

Because if they explicitly cater to them, they'd have to create kid safe content, supervise all interactions, certify everyone's age, and at the same time not be able to exploit them in the same way as users assumed to be adults. Much easier just to let the kids lie and then treat them as adults.

Re:Not surprising (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104324)

Nice generalisation there.

Generalisations, like rumours, often have some small truth to them. I could count on my two hands (and name) the kids who I know had Facebook accounts and knew the risks, yet I know from checking the proxy logs how many tried to access Facebook from the school. It was easily in the top 5 sites students attempted to visit.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Arch_Android (1989386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104546)

Just adding in, that while yes, most children are stupid, their are many out there that are much more mature than most adults.

Re:Not surprising (1)

EdgeCreeper (1618161) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104608)

I'm not saying they should shoulder-surf 24/7 and only let them play Happy Fun Playground with Ponies and Sprinkles games

Those are one of the worst kinds of parents.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104984)

Not everyone who uses Facebook is a dullard. If you're under 30, depending on your circle of friends, it can be nearly impossible to get a girlfriend or get invited to parties if you're not on Facebook.

Of course, neither of those are problems for most slashdot users...

Re:Not surprising (1)

hhedeshian (1343143) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103708)

Didn't you know? They've had a opt-out for years now, although there is no link to it, you just kind of have to know how to do it
http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=i_am_13_and_want_to_be_opted_out_of_exploitation/yes/yes_i_really_want_to/yes_im_sure/yes_i_agree_to_tos/ [facebook.com]

Just as a matter of interest how do you think.. (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104000)

Facebook chooses advertising profit (all those users) over actively enforcing their TOS.

Facebook should be fined for this predatory practice. This is a nasty exploitation of children.

Just as a matter of interest how do you think they could enforce it? How would you know that someone claiming to be 22 year old Mike Smith form Luton or 20 year-old Nalini Kapur from Mumbai are really the age they claim to be?

Re:Just as a matter of interest how do you think.. (1)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104510)

How would you know that someone claiming to be 22 year old Mike Smith form Luton or 20 year-old Nalini Kapur from Mumbai are really the age they claim to be?

Not all but some of them are obvious. I know one that specifically says in the "about me" section that she is an 8 year old girl going to such-and-such elementary school. All of her pictures show an 8 year old running and playing and laughing. Yet there's no way to report it.

Re:Just as a matter of interest how do you think.. (1)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104740)

Are you sure? I've been able to report accounts for violating TOS before... did they remove that link? (It used to be on the left side, near the bottom...)

Re:Not surprising (1)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104472)

Facebook should be fined for this predatory practice. This is a nasty exploitation of children.

It's not facebook's fault, it's the parents'.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36105116)

but people (even parents of children) love to blame everyone else for their own problems. We are in an age where taking blame for things almost never happens. Parents blame the schools for their children failing, they blame the music industry for their children getting a hold of explicit material (a cd with every other word as the "F" word or whatever), Parents blame movies for having sex and violence, Parents blame the streets for their children's ability to obtain drugs.

thing is, Everything starts in the home. If the parents don't take charge and monitor what happens to their children, they are equally if not more at fault than these sources of media. Facebook is just another tool to connect to others. I enjoyed the day when it was just college students. You had to prove you went to a college to get an account.

I have sense graduated, and would have wanted to keep the account, so I am glad they opened it up, but not this far. IF FB actually made it "More Locked Down", how would they do so? Provide them with a scanned copy of your Birth Certificate? Go back to College Email Requirements?

THERES PROBABLY NO WAY TO STOP THIS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103650)

Right?

Re:THERES PROBABLY NO WAY TO STOP THIS (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105184)

Cut down to only allow email@schoolname.edu accounts like the good ole days.

1/3 (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103654)

So a full third of Facebook's viewers are 13 or under. That is actually kind of a shocking statistic. I am sure glad I am not one of those new investors they recently took on. This is going to by a buy high sell low event for most of them is my guess. Facebook is following the pattern of MySpace and is about out of steam is my guess.

Re:1/3 (1)

MurukeshM (1901690) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103732)

1/30. The numbers are all for minors. There are, what , 200m+ users of fb?

Re:1/3 (1)

crank-a-doodle (1973286) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103772)

1/30. The numbers are all for minors. There are, what , 200m+ users of fb?

it is 20 m not 200m!

Re:1/3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103894)

http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics
500m users

Re:1/3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103738)

Only a third of minors. It's a much smaller percentage of total traffic and ads for the under 18 crowd aren't that valuable as they have no disposable income of worth.

Re:1/3 (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103848)

The toy industry disagrees.

Re:1/3 (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103784)

Oh never mind I misread the first time the 20million number is just minors, not the total population. Still this could be a legal mess.

Re:1/3 (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103804)

"So a full third of Facebook's viewers are 13 or under. "

Tell them Granny is there too, so there's no way this is cool.

Re:1/3 (1)

Pikkebaas (1665451) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104086)

There sure is a lot of guessing going on there... very insightful.

TOS are stupid (1)

louic (1841824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103674)

That just indicates the terms of service need to be changed. There is nothing wrong with young children using a website. Does 4chan have terms of service?

Re:TOS are stupid (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103720)

Actually 4chan, of all things, does have clearly defined rules about that. This is why the expression "underage b&" exists.

Re:TOS are stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104930)

bulletproof. No way around that.

Re:TOS are stupid (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103728)

Here in the Unitied States anyway we have laws that limit the personal information you can collect on children under 13 online. Facebook is all about collecting personal information, so this could be a big problem. I am not sure everyone understands what the law says on this issue either, for a while weather.com was asking if you were under 13 before they let you enter your zip code, which they obviously used to determine what forecast to show (and possibly target ads). They were not even asking for a first name along side that code.

Re:TOS are stupid (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104596)

It's just a shame that in the US, like here in the UK, they don't have laws banning irresponsible people from having kids - this all comes down to lack of parental supervision, nothing more.

Re:TOS are stupid (1)

tudsworth (1919278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103764)

Kinda. The rules state nobody under 18 can browse 4chan, not that this is much of a deterrent for any actual underage users - the sensible ones just don't outright state their age.

Kind of like what they did on Myspace a few years back; and what kids do on facebook now. Then again, this is to be expected - most age-verification attempts online are quite pathetic in the grand scheme of things and can be subverted by any idiot.

Re:TOS are stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103806)

most age-verification attempts online are quite pathetic in the grand scheme of things and can be subverted by any idiot.

Most age-verification attempts online are there to prove that website owner does something to keep the kiddies out.
FTFY

Re:TOS are stupid (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103826)

It's not meant to be difficult to subvert. It's Cover Your Ass technology. They asked, they were lied to, they're not culpable.

Re:TOS are stupid (1)

tudsworth (1919278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103960)

Exactly. I should probably have pointed that out in my comment. Still amuses me greatly that it's newsworthy when people *gasp* lie on the internet.

Re:TOS are stupid (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103902)

Facebook doesn't actually want to stop under-13s using their site. They just don't want to be held liable if they do. If a user lies to get access to the site, that puts the liability back on them, rather than on facebook.

Bullies? (0)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103682)

OHHH NOOOEEESSS

Re:Bullies? (2, Insightful)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103782)

"Serious threats"! :rolleyes:

This is just plain part of the discovery of what works & what doesn't work socially that people have to go through in order to grow up. And I say "people", not "children", as many adult-aged people still haven't shown any signs of social maturity. :-P

more hysterics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103714)

The human desire for communication is not a pathology or an automatic problem. Why is this

Re:more hysterics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104130)

because it's new and kids do it. Ask Aristotle he had something to say on how the youth was less boisterous in his day as well (can't find the quote)

I read "Slashdot users"... (1)

lundstrj (1746124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103766)

..and thought "Huh, well, that explains it I guess".

Cyber-bullying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103774)

'That bully, Burt poked me! waaaa....'

Yea, so? (1)

AnonymmousCoward (2026904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103780)

What's your point? It's the internet...anything goes

Under 13? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103786)

I thought they were _all_ under 13, at least mentally.

yer, right (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103790)

how many are actually under 13? I mean really.... Who puts in their correct age?

What's the problem? (3, Interesting)

richy freeway (623503) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103808)

The problem here isn't Facebook, it's bad parenting. We let our 8 and 9 year old use Facebook. The computer is in the living room where we can see what they're doing, we vet all their friends and generally keep an eye on things. They're not stupid, if they don't know someone who requests their friendship, they block them straight away without us having to intervene. They thoroughly enjoy playing a lot of the games on there and why shouldn't they?

Facebook isn't inherently evil and something that we should keep kids away from. They've got just as much chance getting nonced up on one of the kiddy branded sites like Mushi Monsters or Panfu. Funnily enough, they haven't been.

Re:What's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103966)

Yep. Bad parenting.

13 is there as a legal requirement to cover what they want to do with gathered/stored/sold data.

Use your brain. Just because it's physically possible for a child to watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre (they mainly have eyes), doesn't mean it's right for a number of reasons. This is the same.

captcha: irritate - hahahaah

Online bullies != playground bullies (1, Insightful)

leereyno (32197) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103812)

Malware is a problem, as are sexual predators. Bullies on the other hand, can be found on any playground. Online bullies have words as their weapons, whereas the offline version use their fists. To pretend that the online variety are a special threat is ridiculous. If junior can't handle someone saying mean things about him online then he'll always be a momma's boy.

That being said, I think it is a good thing that younger people are choosing to immerse themselves in Facebook and other forms of social media.

Re:Online bullies != playground bullies (1)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103974)

Clearly you've never seen online bullies who go into extraordinary lengths to crack (maybe brute force) someone's passwords in order take over their accounts or to steal their identities to harm their reputations, or spam their web spaces with insults so that it scares away all of the victims' visitors and associates.

Re:Online bullies != playground bullies (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104076)

I'm not sure malware is a unique problem for this age group. If anything, a typical kid probably is more savvy than a typical parent of that kid, so greater parental supervision isn't necessaril.

Re:Online bullies != playground bullies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104682)

If junior can't handle someone saying mean things about him online then he'll always be a momma's boy.

And if the opinions of his peers mean nothing to him, he's a psychopath.

Re:Online bullies != playground bullies (2)

Grismar (840501) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104812)

Your comment is so out of touch with reality that it has me wondering if I'm feeding a troll here. Clearly you've never seen online bullying in progress at its worst. And as far as bullies on the playground go: if you think the main problem of getting bullied is the risk of physical harm, you're clearly in the dark about what bullying really is about.

The Wikipedia lemma [wikipedia.org] has it right where it says "Bullying is abusive treatment [...] involving an imbalance in power. [...] The "imbalance of power" may be social power and/or physical power." Social power, social media, get where the bullying might come in?

Re:Online bullies != playground bullies (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104888)

That being said, I think it is a good thing that younger people are choosing to immerse themselves in Facebook and other forms of social media.

I don't think so. They're not old enough to use it with even a shred of responsibility. As the article notes, most of those kids are even unsupervised.

Re:Online bullies != playground bullies (3, Insightful)

phulegart (997083) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105030)

I agree with the fact that they are not equal... but not for the reasons you say they are not equal. For every playground bully, there are maybe 100 online bullies. If you have EVER spent time on a online forum, you would know this. Oh, I know that slashdot is SIMILAR to a forum in how it is set up, but there are far fewer bullies and trolls here than compared to a place like Yahoo Answers, or any gaming forum. Yes, I'm sure you could respond with some clever remark about how I must not be aware of the bullies and trolls here... but that would just be ignorant on your part.

You say "if junior can't handle someone saying mean things about him online then he'll always be a momma's boy." so... you imply that people shouldn't allow words to hurt them, and in the same sentence you choose to use an offensive phrase to insult and offend people. That's no different than saying if a bully isn't stood up to, then the kid he is bullying deserved the beat-down. I mean, if the kid can't defend himself, he should learn how to fight... right? You do realize that it is far easier to physically lash out at an issue, then mentally process it properly... right? Not to pick on people with disabilities, or really small children, but we can use their experiences as an example. Looking at very small children... before they learn to speak properly, they learn to hit. Something scares them, angers them... they don't process it, they lash out. Look at retarded individuals or autistic individuals. Violence is often a reaction that must be dealt because that is a FAR easier way to deal with what they are feeling. So, it is harder for Junior to deal with someone saying mean things than it is for Junior to deal with someone hitting him. Junior would much rather have a black eye than have the stigma of being a "momma's boy" follow him throughout his school career. Again, if you don't realize that, you are lacking the knowledge of how things are... and by definition that is ignorant.

You aren't upset when I point out how ignorant you are about these things, are you? It doesn't bother you... does it?

Now, add to that the fact that there is a separation of the individual from the incident, that occurs when there is a case of cyber-bullying... and it is FAR easier for an every day common Joe who would NEVER be a bully in real life to become a bully online. In fact, there are quite a number of people who would actually be VICTIMS of real life bullying that take up cyber-bullying as a way to overcompensate. When people can't see your face, and you can't see theirs... it makes it FAR easier to say things that would sting and stick with someone. When you can post something for the WORLD to read, and then pass that around to all of someone's friends.. that has a lasting impact. Are you that ignorant of how actions on the internet are costing some people their jobs? Do you really think that what happens here on the internet (and gets cached by Google) doesn't have an impact?

"To pretend that the online variety are a special threat is ridiculous." WAKE UP! How many kids have committed suicide because of a playground bully? Now, how many kids have committed suicide because of an ONLINE bully? When you were in Jr. High school... if someone started passing around photographs of you having homosexual relations... or relations with a person 50 years your Sr... how would that have made you feel? What if there was NOTHING you could do from EVERYONE at the school seeing those photos? It doesn't matter if those photos were faked. Ok. Don't like photos? What if all of a sudden a notebook appeared, and it looked just like yours, and inside there were all these horrible things written about your friends, and your teachers... and that notebook got passed around and shown to everyone? What if it LOOKED like it was from you... I mean, it LOOKED like it was your handwriting, even to you? This is no different than a cyber bully setting up a fake facebook page (as has already been done) and making it look like their target is saying and doing all these nasty things.

You think it is a good thing that younger people are choosing to immerse themselves in Facebook? You think it is a good thing that younger people are teaching themselves not to obey the rules, and come to the conclusion that it is OK to break the rules because you won't get caught? You don't think they are learning that lesson by ignoring the age restrictions? You think it is a good idea that kids are spending more and more time on Facebook at school, rather than doing their work? Exactly how ignorant are you? There seems to be no limit to what you do not know.

... and I hope my words didn't upset you too much. You don't want to come across as a hypocrite now, do you?

Re:Online bullies != playground bullies (2)

Rennt (582550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105058)

Yes, bullies are easy to dismiss aren't they? Certainly children have never been driven to self-harm because of systematic emotional abuse. Well, except for a few momma's boys and girls of course, but who cares about them?

What disgusts me even more (1)

dust11 (895301) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103846)

One of the stupider things I've seen in the past, was when an old girlfriend's parents actually created a facebook account for her 6 year old sister, then let her run free with it, complete with fully tagged photo albums, check-in locations, status updates and favourite pages (much of this information was provided indirectly by the parents through tagging).

I find it hugely concerning when a pair of adults (both of whom are middle-aged) decide to completely ignore the terms of service so they can list their both of their daughters on their profiles. This is probably the case with many young children who don't have the technical knowledge to sign up for an email account, then use the email account to open a facebook account.

Sure, it doesn't seem like facebook have gone to exceptional lengths to enforce their own ToS, but you can't say they're completely at fault.

Re:What disgusts me even more (1)

HJED (1304957) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104080)

And why is this stupid (apart from ignoring the TOS which most people are not even aware of)?
Isn't it better for kids to learn how to use Facebook under parental supervision, then out of it? Same arguments as with parents allowing there kids to drink at home in small quantities, apart from Facebook use has far less negative consequences then alcohol. In the Western world kids probably have an equal chance of using Facebook and drinking alcohol when they grow up, anyway.
Also it seems that the parents in your example are using Facebook, how it is designed to be used: to share photos, etc and keep in touch with family and friends. Personally I'm surprised Facebook hasn't created a child account with parental controls yet.

Do NOT friend 13-year olds on facebook, (2)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103864)

... no matter how much they pester you for it. Because a 13-year old typically doesn't know that visitor information is not exposed in the facebook API. (Neither does the typical adult, unfortunately) So, when an app promises to give it to her, she may believe it when she is told [random dude chosen by the app] visits her profile ten times every day. That is bad for an adult, whose friends suddenly thinks he's an obsessive, creepy stalker - but if the app-clicker is underage, those people may think you're a pedophile as well.

It happened to a journalist whose blog I read, I've experienced similar things myself (though not quite that bad).

lies, damn lies and statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103876)

FB says there are 500M active users per day and CR says that there are 7.5M under 13yos on FB so this makes 1.5% of total users are breaking the TOS and probably making FB breaking the law many times every second. figures are very rubbery

So... (5, Funny)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103882)

the internet: where the men are men, the women are men, and Over 7.5 Million Facebook Users Are FBI agents.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104044)

Thank you. I came here for this reference.

Will not leave disappointed.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104516)

But the invite from my friends cat was actually a cat right?

Re:So... (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104802)

Current FaceBook demographics:
  • 7.5 million under-13s
  • 50 million DoD-controlled bots
  • 100 million marketroids
  • 50 million sockpuppet accounts for people with no real friends to pretend that they're popular
  • 250 million abandoned accounts
  • 40 million people wondering why AOL / Geocities / MySpace looks so different these days
  • 2.5 million - everyone else

How do they know? (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103886)

If Consumer Reports has such a sophisticated method to accurately determine the age millions of of Facebook users, why don't they share their method with Facebook so they can improve their policy enforcement?

Re:How do they know? (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104042)

A simple survey, followed by extrapolation.

Re:How do they know? (1)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104296)

> why don't they share their method with Facebook

I would guess that Facebook do not really care about the real age of their users: the limit is more for legislators/concerned parents/PR.

Re:How do they know? (1)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104354)

Look at who they list as parents' age and subtract the average age of pregnancy based on their location.

It's not perfect, because a lot of girls (over 13 into their 20s) list their friends as parents for whatever reason, (seen kids of friends do that as well as changing last names, etc) but for the ones that do that, you also get a fair portion of ones who don't list parents.... so drop all of both and you can still say "over x amount" since that would include any results you dropped since you are saying higher than this number.

Think of the children - Lets ban Faceboook now! (2)

Liambp (1565081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103920)

I know I may have sneered at "Think of the Children Arguments" in the past but I loathe Facebook and all it stands for so I am ready to compromise my principles in order to help ferment an unstoppable outpouring of public outrage against it.

Approved (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103978)

Glen Quagmire approves this post! Giggity giggity goo! Heh heh, alright!

Yet another idiotic /. article. (3, Insightful)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103982)

Consumer Reports' survey found that their accounts were largely unsupervised by their parents, exposing them to malware or serious threats such as predators or bullies."

Oh my nursing Athena. Is this what Slashdot has some to? Really? This is the quality of stories we get? "Exposing them to" -- gasp-- "malware or" -- gasp -- "serious threats such as predators" -- gasp-- "or bullies."

Give me a break. Where did the submitter grow up, in a test tube? With eighteen parents and doctors watching every move?

Someone please post the submitters' physical address. Please. I'd like to deliver a Darwin award invitation. Before s/he manages to escape parental supervision, stub a toe, and die from an infection of the hangnail.

Re:Yet another idiotic /. article. (1)

Nukedoom (1776114) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104338)

While the article did exaggerate a bit, I think they make some valid points. In particular, it doesn't seem like the best idea in the world to let children post, talk and say things in a place where there's going to be an archive of it. Children aren't the most responsible people. Hell, some people have grown up and still don't belong on the internet.

Re:Yet another idiotic /. article. (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104610)

While the article did exaggerate a bit, I think they make some valid points. In particular, it doesn't seem like the best idea in the world to let parentally unsupervised children post, talk and say things in a place where there's going to be an archive of it. Children aren't the most responsible people. Hell, some people have grown up and still don't belong on the internet.

There, corrected that for you.

Re:Yet another idiotic /. article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104816)

Are you suggesting a typical 13 year old has enough of a grasp of their faculties to avoid these dangers?

Sure, a significant percentage of /. may have been that lucid at 13, but I said the typical 13 year old.

Re:Yet another idiotic /. article. (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105104)

You're the idiot here. This article is not necessarily posted to show support of the content, but primarily to inform you of its existence and allow a place to discuss it. Even if that discussion is mostly mockery and derision.

Do you also think that when CNN tells you about a suicide bombing that they're tacitly giving support to the suicide bomber's agenda?

Kids (1)

netflusher (2139930) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103986)

Read this in the paper today. Kids think having a fb account is like having some thing out of the ordinary. They should get proper counselling from their parents about it. Who knows, this kids may even end up with teen age pregancy just coz of this ignorance from their parents.

Re:Kids (1)

HJED (1304957) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104110)

No, kids actually think of it as something that is ordinary and they want it because their parents, siblings and/or friends have it (the later being a general human characteristic not specific to children). I fail to see how having Facebook may cause teenage pregnancy, other then providing an extra channel for communication like, [gasp/] talking, or using a phone. Facebook causes teenage pregnancy in the same way that talking causes teenage pregnancy.

I sincerly hope that you are never a parent, stupid parents causes teenage pregnancy NOT (insert communication method here)

Malware? (1)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104058)

I would imagine most 13 year olds are more up to speed with the dangers of malware, etc., than most people over 40. As for other risks - certainly predators might be drawn to such places, but I would imagine that most 13 year olds would give these relatively ancient guys serious abuse - it's the 13 year old depressive loners who are looking for attention who are most vulnerable and those vulnerabilities will be rooted in their life away from Facebook, not due to Facebook. Moreover, abusers are almost always known to kids, a family member, etc.. What would be nice, however, is if Facebook did a little more for kids who are looking for help. There are unique opportunities for kids to find help when they might never have bothered.

Seo Solutions (1)

anab01 (1857410) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104062)

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Happyness in slavery (1)

Kuruk (631552) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104066)

Get em while there young.

US (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104158)

And how many of those minors where in countries with vastly different cultures than the US, where using the full potential of the internet at age 10 is not seen as dangerous, and where the kids have been tought to handle it?

And? (1)

Starfleet Command (936772) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104182)

This is a surprise?

Over 7.5 Million Facebook Users Are Under 13 61 (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104236)

"Over 7.5 Million Facebook Users Are Under 13 61"

Got to love Slashdot's broken layout, showing me the number of comments right there in the headline. Still, this one made me giggle:

"AMD To Support Coreboot On All Upcoming Processors 133"

facebook is for children and childlike adults (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104408)

I always said facebook is for children and childlike adults. what a fucking waste of time.

Animals? (2)

bob_jordan (39836) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104522)

Hello,

Well I am friends with a rabbit and a dog on facebook. I know dog-years are 7 human years so the dog is ok, but does anyone know the rabbit-human age conversion factor?

Thanks in advance,

Bob.

Re:Animals? (1)

rwv (1636355) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105170)

I only hope and pray that your rabbit friend hasn't been exposed to Malware or bullying. And assuming that she's active on Farmville, I hope her carrot crop is during well this spring.

Seriously though... there's no reason for minors or animals to have social networking accounts. Unequivocally no reason. Not one. Same thing goes for e-mail accounts, though I will at least allow for the possibility that 4th graders may be old enough to submit essays through e-mail to save paper. Saving paper fits into the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mantra that we ought to be teaching them.

That being said, the caretakers of minors or animals who have social networking profiles should be punished for their lack of judgment.

Meh (3, Insightful)

Peter Mork (951443) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104696)

In other news, millions of children are sent by their parents to school everyday where they are exposed to new ideas and serious threats such as potential predators or bullies.

Re:Meh (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104936)

School is supervised, and not the entire world. Big difference.

So ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36105074)

In other news, millions of children are sent by their parents to school everyday where they are exposed to new ideas and serious threats such as potential predators or bullies.

So ?
Should they be exposed to even more dangers ?
Just because i smoke tobacco (a serious threat that maybe kills me one day), should i explore the idea of skydiving without a parachute ?
There are new ideas , but also serious threats on the internet for kids .

Not Condoning this, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104804)

how much greater are the risks than a walk down a metropolitan street? I'm getting a bit desensitized to yet another OMGZ TEH KIDZ screed. Evidence > parental paranoia, please.

Full disclosure: I'm a parent, and my 12 yr old begged for a FB account. I check where she goes online, etc. Shame on those that use the internet for the next electronic babysitter.

In other words (2)

deconvolution (715827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104920)

Over 7.5M FBI's accounts on Facebook ... and they are men.

Dammit, you're supposed to fear it. (1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105096)

FTFA: "âoeWhatâ(TM)s even more troubling was the finding from our survey that indicated that a majority of parents of kids 10 and under seemed largely unconcerned by their childrenâ(TM)s use of the site.â

But, we're telling them to be scared. Why aren't they scared? These parents must be the same insane lunatics that use craigslist when you know you will be killed if you do. These kids could be bullied, you know. Unlike real life, there's no way to avoid the person or never hear what they say on facebook. They also could have their identity stolen which will just trash their credit score, and if you've got heavy credit card debt at 13, you'll be paying it off the rest of your life.

You should do as the article suggests and have facebook delete the account using the "report an underage child" form. Because a child needs to feel secure that they can tell you anything and know that you'll report them to the relevant authorities immediately. This proves to them how much that they can trust you.

And 23.5 million other users... (1)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105124)

And 23.5 million other users appear to be cats!
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