Facebook to allow on under 13s

May 22nd, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Social networking giant looks set to let children under 13 use its site legally, which could attract millions of new users.

The move has been praised by a social media expert who said it would provide new opportunities for businesses looking to engage with a younger audience.

“From that point of view that’s good for us and good for our clients,” Eight80 Social Media director Adam Smith said.

Good God. Well that’s one company I’d never use. Anyone advocating 10 years olds as a business audience.

However, he said it was likely Facebook would put restrictions on what advertising younger users were exposed to. A senior Facebook employee in Britain admitted many under-13s were already using the site.

Head of policy Simon Milner told the Sunday Times there was “reputable evidence” of children under 13 lying about their age to get on to Facebook, some with their parents’ permission or help.

“We have a strict under-13 rule because of legal issues in America, and we apply the same rule all over the world. But a lot of parents are happy their kids are on it,” the Facebook employee said.

Last year’s annual Auckland University schools census, which collects data from more than 20,000 students, showed about 60 per cent of 12-year-olds, 40 per cent of 11-year-olds and about a quarter of 10-year-olds had a Facebook page.

Yep they are on already, by lying about their age. So much better to let them join by stating their true age, and ring-fencing them in a kids area.

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25 Responses to “Facebook to allow on under 13s”

  1. dime (9,856 comments) says:

    “The move has been praised by a social media expert who said it would provide new opportunities for businesses looking to engage with a younger audience.”

    Whats wrong with that?

    Toy companies generally advertise during childrens programming etc. same thing.

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  2. Manolo (13,580 comments) says:

    Assisting the making of younger future exhibionists.

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  3. Longknives (4,690 comments) says:

    I don’t think kids should be on Facebook but it’s already happening so I think this move is sadly inevitable.

    Oh how life was simpler way back before cellphones and the internet- all a kid had to worry about was keeping the tyres pumped on his Raleigh Chopper and getting home in time for Scooby Doo..

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  4. James Stephenson (2,153 comments) says:

    What dime said…

    I’d suggest that younger kids should only be allowed to sign up on a subsidiary to a parent’s account, but I get enough spam posts as it is without Ben 10 and Beyblade added to the mix.

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  5. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    Once you’ve signed onto facebook they’ve snared you. They follow every link you go online. if you put up your pic they can identify you from a crowd of thousands with their facial recognition system. And it’s impossible to stop your account.

    Now, FB can be used to destroy a life, incriminate a life. In the US even the smallest arrest is put on a permanent record. Children are hand cuffed by police, including pre schoolers and taken out of class and put on police records.

    Advise your family members to stay well away from FB and Google or You tube all my above statements for proof.

    FB is utterly evil

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  6. davidp (3,580 comments) says:

    My sister has specifically warned me that under no circumstance should I accept a friend invite from my 13 year old niece. She said that my feed would be snowed under with teenage girl inanity. I checked out her (unsecured) profile to confirm my sisters evaluation and she was absolutely right. The girl was “liking” around 50 different pages per day and I have never seen such a collection of mindless shite.

    >and ring-fencing them in a kids area.

    I heard Apple released a special children’s version of the iPod a couple of years, but the iTouch Kids wasn’t a great success.

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  7. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    Anyone advocating 10 years olds as a business audience.

    That’s a fairly lucrative business audience, but it’s getting quite mature, they target kids much younger to get them into the habit of wanting whatever is suggested.

    One of the most blatant and insidious examples was a bunch of burger buggers encouraging kids to insist on a breakfast out after their parents had had a night out.

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  8. Mr Nobody NZ (390 comments) says:

    DPF: “Good God. Well that’s one company I’d never use. Anyone advocating 10 years olds as a business audience.”

    It was recently reported that Australian kids between the ages of 4 to 14 represent a A$1.5 Billion consumer group, with most children receiving on average A$499/year from a combination of pocket money, gifts and paid work. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10751579)

    With those sort of numbers its pretty hard for any business to ignore kids as potential customers.

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  9. labrator (1,847 comments) says:

    A “social media expert” with less than 400 followers? Is this one of those self-defined experts like most people in social media?

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  10. Ed Snack (1,849 comments) says:

    I guess FB has to do something to stop their share price bombing now the IPO is over.

    But frankly, if they’re lying now to get a FB page, why the hell would they bother to go into the “kids” area ? Unless their parents are prepared to regulate it, nothing that FB can reasonably do to ensure compliance on age.

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  11. James Stephenson (2,153 comments) says:

    One of the most blatant and insidious examples was a bunch of burger buggers encouraging kids to insist on a breakfast out after their parents had had a night out.

    Yeah, mine do, I’m more than happy that corporate advertising benefits my local cafe.

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  12. m@tt (628 comments) says:

    Of course it’s just a coincidence this announcement comes after their lacklustre (and that’s being kind) IPO.
    Yeah Right.

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  13. Dick Prebble (60 comments) says:

    Good God. Well that’s one company I’d never use. Anyone advocating 10 years olds as a business audience.

    So I suppose you’re against companies that sell toys like Batman figures or Barbie Dolls, or you hate companies like lolly manufacturers, or that you’d want to shut down places like Rainbow’s End. Go join the Green Party if you give a shit about stuff like that. Then again, you are a member of the conservative National party with meatheads like Bill English in it so I’m not surprised.

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  14. voice of reason (490 comments) says:

    “Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said last year children under 13 should be on Facebook. “It will be a fight we take on at some point. My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age.” ”

    So Zuckerberg equates Facebook with Education? “Really really youg age” = I guess he means from birth – eg facebook replaces the register of Births & Deaths – the heal prick test records your dna etc, all loaded to facebook.
    Fantastic

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  15. rolla_fxgt (311 comments) says:

    Just about every company targets kids now, as everybody knows there is only so long you can put up with a pestering kid wanting something before you snap and get it for them (if their attention span doesn’t run out in the mean time), or not wanting to look like a bad parent, as you haven’t got your child the supposedly latest and best thing to boost their brain power, etc etc.
    Marketers have learnt that advertsing to kids is the easiest way to make a buck in the world. Why should facebook be any different?

    So DPF you’re going to have to spend awhile writing a list of companies you won’t use becuase they target kids. Grocieries are going to be a problem for a start, unless you are going to stick to a diet of alcohol!

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  16. Jeff (11 comments) says:

    There is two arguments at play here. Firstly is it right to advertise to children? I think society has deemed that is is ok, but with cavets as to the type of material they are exposed to and time of day.

    I know that as a Facebook marketer for several bars and one brewery, that by default there is no R18 restriction on Facebook Pages. Thus they may well be exposed to objectionable material quite readily if they are given full profiles.

    The second argument began in earnest with the Facebook IPO. Shareholders all over the world will demand that revenue exceeds $2-3 Billion in the next 2 years at the least. Thus they need to not only grow their user numbers, but retain those users, while supporting a comprehensive and results driven ad server.

    Personally Facebook is not my preferred choice for online advertising, Google is. I find that companies who offer only social media campaigns, are somewhat naive about what business actually knead to succeed online. Social and Search are increasingly blurred.

    At the end of the day Facebook is an online advertiser, so the question now becomes a legal one. Will Facebook meet the ASA guidelines around advertising, or will it be the advertiser who must police their own Pages. Regardless i would hope that more industry training takes place, because it seems there is disproportionate amount of gouging and poor practice taking place within the New Zealand market.

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  17. alloytoo (530 comments) says:

    Facebook’s year of birth options begin at 1905.

    Be interesting to see how many centenarians facebook has on their books. (Shows the integrity of their systems HAH!)

    I’d be, as an advertiser, be very vary of advertising on social media. Handled incorrectly it would be so easy to build up brand hatred.

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  18. Pongo (371 comments) says:

    What do you think TV does during kiddies viewing time , having had my pocket picked over many years by my children’s special requests I say nothing to see here move on.

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  19. RRM (9,834 comments) says:

    Well RRM thinks it would be quite funny if Zuckerberg just pulled the plug now that he’s a multi-zulti-zillionaire. BOOM – No more Facebook, at all, effective immediately.

    I’m set up for life now, so screw you guys, I don’t need the hassles anymore. I’m going to sit on MY beach on MY island and drink long island ice teas. See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya…

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  20. RRM (9,834 comments) says:

    And for christ’s sake, PLEASE get over the “think of the children” BS everyone.

    Children are exposed to advertising. This isn’t something new that Facebook just invented.

    As always, parents have the power to say “no we’re not getting one of those.” I do it all the time. ;-)

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  21. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Manolo already posted the following article on another thread. Its a good read, which is very true.

    Down with Facebook!

    If kids want to kill the capability of neurons in their brain to think creativity, then Facebook is the place for those what are keen.

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  22. Mike Readman (363 comments) says:

    davidp,

    This page is for you:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Im-Sick-of-People-Always-Liking-all-These-Stupid-Pages/307619471788

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  23. RRM (9,834 comments) says:

    Down with Facebook!

    Poor guy, I can’t imagine going through life being as negative about everything as the author of that moan…

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  24. Yoza (1,815 comments) says:

    “Good God. Well that’s one company I’d never use. Anyone advocating 10 years olds as a business audience.”

    Not allowing children on facebook because they are under 13 will not prevent predatory advertising agencies targeting them. Similarly, not allowing children to watch television will not prevent them being influenced by advertising campaigns. The social engineering programs practised by advertising agencies and PR firms are insidious and ubiquitous. It is the job of the dark-side, advertising and PR, to convince people they are inadequate if they do not accept the product or idea being hawked.

    Allowing children the right to understand why and how big business preys on them, their families and communities is the more important step if we really want to protect them.

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  25. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    It is the job of the dark-side, advertising and PR, to convince people they are inadequate if they do not accept the product or idea being hawked.

    Sadly, very true.

    There needs to be a campaign to make parents aware of these dangers, until that happens they won’t be looking after their kids properly. They should be given all the facts. They deserve it, and they’ll love it.

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