Parents hit out over Facebook plans to allow under 13s to sign up

With news that founder Mark Zuckerberg is thinking of lifting the age restriction, parents worry about the dangers of social networking for pre-teens

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Parents, and even the police, have hit out over claims that Facebook is planning on lifting its age restrictions so that children under 13 can sign up.

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The rules currently state that children aged 12 and under are banned from signing up to the popular social networking site. However, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that he is fighting for a change on the age restriction, as he believes that using the site could be educational to children.

In fact, figures suggest that around 43% of children aged between nine and 12 may have flouted the ban and are already members. Yet, parents are worried that their children are too young to use the site.

“Children are not sophisticated enough to deal with potential threats to them,” says dad Paddy Clarke, from Winchcombe, as reported by This Is Gloucestershire. Parents are also worried that allowing young children on the site will open the door for sexual grooming and cyber bullying.

“With children, there is an element of peer pressure and youngsters will add hundreds of people, even if they don’t know them all, opening themselves to danger,” a police spokesperson said.

Undeterred, Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to “take on the fight” as his philosophy is “that for education, you need to start at a really, really young age”.

At what age would you let your child use Facebook?

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