Popular social network Facebook is planning to develop apps that will allow kids under 13 to access the site with parental supervision.
This is in furtherance of its founder Mark Zuckerberg‘s statement at the News School Summit held in May 2011, where he promised to allow younger children on the site for education purposes.
This application, according to the Wall Street Journal, would link a parent’s account to their kids, or add controls to let a parent decide who their kids could be friends with or what applications they would download.
According to a Facebook spokesman, ‘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…We are in continuous dialogue with stakeholders, regulators and other policy makers about how best to help parents keep their kids safe in an evolving online environment‘
At the moment, Facebook is restricted to people aged 13 and over, due to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which bans websites from collecting information from users under 13.
However, a survey has found that approximately 7.5 million Facebook profiles are operated by users younger than 13 years old