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Is Facebook about to let the kiddies in?

Facebook is reportedly developing new technology that would allow children under the age of 13 to use it.

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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According to The Wall Street Journal, the massively popular social network is looking at ways to let children use the site under parental supervision.

The newspaper reports that the measures would allow parents to determine who their children are allowed to “friend” and what applications they are allowed to use.

According to Mashable, Facebook says it is investigating the possibility of options for younger users, but could neither confirm nor deny that it was working on anything concrete:

“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.”

Some reports suggest that as many as 38% of children on Facebook are under 13. At least one Twitter user pointed out that all it was doing was legitimising them:

Others also pointed out that the regulations would be futile if they came to fruition:

Some users urged children to stay away from social networks:

There were of course jokes:

If this software is on its way, I will say this: it’d better be designed so that parents don’t have to ask their kids to help them with it when it doesn’t work. That just makes everyone look foolish.