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Facebook to allow kids under 13?

June 4, 2012 at 8:25 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, June 4 (UPI) -- Facebook is said to be developing technology to allow children under age 13 to access the social network, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Facebook is building mechanisms to connect children's accounts to those of their parents, with the parents retaining the power to decide who their kids can "friend" on the social networking giant and what applications they can use, sources who said they've talked to Facebook executives told the Journal.

Facebook, with about 900 million users worldwide, currently does not allow anyone under age 13 to have an account, although it has no mechanism to identify someone who may false reporting their age, Wired.com reported.

A large portion of Facebook's income is derived through games from companies like Zynga, built to run on the Facebook platform, sure to be attractive to younger children should they be allowed to have Facebook accounts.

Critics have already weighed in on the possibility of young children having Facebook accounts that include a profile with personal information.

"What Facebook is proposing is similar to the strategies used by Big Tobacco in appealing to young people -- try to hook kids early, build your brand, and you have a customer for life," James Steyer of Common Sense Media said in a statement.

Facebook executives have so far had no comment, Wired.com said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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