Facebook Kicks Out 20,000 Underage Users Daily

Since these users are the most vulnerable to predators on Facebook and the rest of the Internet

Nearly half of all 12-year-olds in U.S. are using social network sites, despite not meeting the minimum age requirements for sites like Facebook; a report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project claims.

The report also indicates that 46 percent of 12-year-olds in U.S. use social networks, and 62 percent of 13-year-olds in the study use social networks, that figure jumps to 82 percent between the ages of 14 to 17.

But that doesn’t mean nothing’s happening; according to a report by the Daily Telegraph, Facebook is kicking out nearly 20,000 underage users per day.

Facebook’s chief privacy adviser Mozelle Thompson agreed that underage users were taking advantage of the site. This issue is due to the fact that any user can register by simply lying while signing up since most of the big networking sites had have no mechanisms to detect whether the user is telling the truth or not.  “It’s not perfect,” said Thompson.

“There are people who lie. There are people who are under 13 [accessing Facebook],” Thompson said. “Facebook removes 20,000 people a day, people who are underage.” Now, that’s just a fraction of its 600 million strong user base that Facebook has.

This month, Senator Franken stepped up pressure on the world’s largest network, with support from even more Congressional colleagues focusing on “users between 13 to 17 years of age”.”Facebook’s new privacy policy would endanger the privacy and safety of children as young as 13. Under Facebook’s policy, 13 million users under the age of 18 may be allowed to share their personal information just like adult users,” Franken argued. “These younger users are the most vulnerable to predators on Facebook and the rest of the Internet and it should be impossible for them to inadvertently share their phone numbers and home addresses with anyone.”

Facebook has set up a Facebook Public Policy and Online Safety team that looks to identify false information by users’ false, but verifying a person’s age seems close to impossible. A member of the team tells the News Observer that parent participation is really the key to the problem of underage users on the site. But what if the parents aren’t opposed to their children being on Facebook? Talking about safe Internet practices with kids might be the next best responsible thing to do, along with monitoring your child’s online activity.

But I believe it’s the parents who should own up the responsibility for what their children do on the Internet. I could give many analogies to put my point across, but I believe people are smart enough to understand the seriousness of this issue. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than 50 percent of underage kids from India [who have Internet access] are more active than most adults on Facebook.

How many parents even know that users need to be 13-and above to own a legitimate Facebook account? Will you do something to stop this scenario or just turn a deaf ear to it? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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About pratyushkp

A Newbie Social Media Blogger , Social Network Addict , Social Gamer ( Mafiawars , Farmville) , Working as a Marketing Specialist for a E-cards company. www.blogoholic.in

Posted on March 26, 2011, in Social, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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