Facebook Denies Lifting Ban on MinorsBy: Mike Fossum - May 22, 2012
As investors wonder why Facebook stock isn’t skyrocketing, with some suggesting that the social network was aware of potential problems by possibly filing a rumored reduced guidance, which is essentially a bad forecast of future business – now another rumor surrounds the sensational IPO – that Facebook plans to lift the ban on under-thirteen-year-olds joining the site. According to an interview over the weekend, a senior Facebook official claimed that the platform plans to allow tweens and under to log on to the site, citing that many do so anyway.
Facebook promptly asserted their stance, stating, “All we have said is what we have been saying for months – that minors on Facebook and the internet is an important issue and we want to work with the broader industry to look at ways of keeping minors safe.” Though Simon Milner, head of policy in Britain for Facebook, points out that users under 13 clearly log on to the network, but also that Facebook makes attempts to educate the young users. A spokesperson for Facebook adds, “An important objective of Facebook’s work in education is improving the relevance of computer science skills amongst school leavers and graduates in the UK – This is vital for our industry, and for the wider economy.”
Facebook presently has roughly 901 million users, and extra tweens would likely put it past that 1 billion mark, but likely at a cost. Facebook is a place for adults to go to get their feelings hurt, whether prompted by vague algorithmic social intrigue, or tanking stock prices. Sure, kids can perhaps learn how to operate the internet better, but the mention of boosting computer science skills by having an account is a bit far-fetched. Facebook appears to agree, and one still has to be 13 to join the site. Also, developing personalities might likely be better off conducting their social experiments in a non-digital realm.