At a recent talk with parents, BeWebSafe.net were surprised at how many parents had children with Facebook accounts who under the age of 13! However these parents are not alone, according to a recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, nearly half of all 12-year-olds in the U.S. are using social network sites, despite not meeting the minimum age requirements for sites like Facebook.
And things don’t improve as the kids get older, roughly 64% of 13-year-olds are social networking; between the ages of 14 to 17, that figure jumps to 82%, says Pew.
But that doesn’t mean Facebook isn’t trying to stop kids from becoming addicted to the network at such a young age. According to a report by the Daily Telegraph, Facebook is kicking out roughly 20,000 underage users per day.
Facebook’s chief privacy adviser Mozelle Thompson agreed that underage users were taking advantage of the site. After all, any user no matter his or her age can register for the site by simply lying when signing up — Facebook has no mechanisms to detect whether a teen is telling the truth or not. Although these young people are a small percentage of the nearly 600 million users on Facebook, but underage users have become a growing concern for the network, especially as it faces increased pressure from regulators.