Facebook is working on technology that would permit children under the age of 13 to use the social network site with parental supervision, people familiar with the effort said today. Facebook currently requires members to be at least 13, but the new effort is being made because many children lie about their age to get access Facebook and its 900 million members. A Facebook spokesman told that no decision has been made on any policy change. But a statement from the spokesman said the California company was exploring ways to handle children using Facebook. “Many recent reports have highlighted just how difficult it is to enforce age restrictions on the Internet, especially when parents want their children to access online content and services,” the statement said.
“We are in continuous dialogue with stakeholders, regulators and other policymakers about how best to help parents keep their kids safe in an evolving online environment.” The effort by Facebook to allow younger children, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, would use technology to allow parents to determine who their children can friend and what applications they could use. The report noted that that many youngsters lie about their age, putting the company in an awkward position regarding a federal requirement to obtain parental consent before collecting personal data.