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Over 7.5 Million Facebook Users Are Under 13 194

Posted by samzenpus
from the baby-book dept.
liqs8143 writes "Of the 20 million minors who actively used Facebook in the past year, 7.5 million of them were younger than 13, according to projections from Consumer Reports' latest State of the Net survey. Facebook's terms of service require users to be at least 13 years old. Also among this group of minors using Facebook, more than 5 million were 10 and under. Consumer Reports' survey found that their accounts were largely unsupervised by their parents, exposing them to malware or serious threats such as predators or bullies."
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Over 7.5 Million Facebook Users Are Under 13

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  • by Frogbert (589961) <frogbertNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday May 12, 2011 @03:27AM (#36103644)

    There is no way it is that few.

    • Re:Huh (Score:4, Funny)

      by lennier1 (264730) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @03:58AM (#36103836)

      90% of their users just behave like they're still 12.

    • Nobody knows ... you can lie about your age on Facebook ... and any survey did not actually verify the age of any users ...because they could have lied to the people doing the survey ...

      My age on Facebook at one time was 99 years ...

      • by N0Man74 (1620447)

        p>My age on Facebook at one time was 99 years ...

        Did you used to get ads that said, "Girls in your town are looking for guys in their 90's! Click here!" like they do for other age ranges?

  • by DarkOx (621550)

    So a full third of Facebook's viewers are 13 or under. That is actually kind of a shocking statistic. I am sure glad I am not one of those new investors they recently took on. This is going to by a buy high sell low event for most of them is my guess. Facebook is following the pattern of MySpace and is about out of steam is my guess.

    • by DarkOx (621550)

      Oh never mind I misread the first time the 20million number is just minors, not the total population. Still this could be a legal mess.

    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      "So a full third of Facebook's viewers are 13 or under. "

      Tell them Granny is there too, so there's no way this is cool.

      • by pspahn (1175617)
        Useless, as Granny (and Mommy, and Auntie, and all the other women of FB) will still share all kinds of photos and details about the young children in their lives anyway.
  • how many are actually under 13? I mean really.... Who puts in their correct age?

  • What's the problem? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by richy freeway (623503) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @03:52AM (#36103808)
    The problem here isn't Facebook, it's bad parenting. We let our 8 and 9 year old use Facebook. The computer is in the living room where we can see what they're doing, we vet all their friends and generally keep an eye on things. They're not stupid, if they don't know someone who requests their friendship, they block them straight away without us having to intervene. They thoroughly enjoy playing a lot of the games on there and why shouldn't they?

    Facebook isn't inherently evil and something that we should keep kids away from. They've got just as much chance getting nonced up on one of the kiddy branded sites like Mushi Monsters or Panfu. Funnily enough, they haven't been.
    • by tehcyder (746570)

      The problem here isn't Facebook, it's bad parenting. We let our 8 and 9 year old use Facebook

      It's good to get them breaking rules at a young age, well done, I bet they're really popular at school when they tell their fascist teachers to fuck off and stop oppressing them.

  • Malware is a problem, as are sexual predators. Bullies on the other hand, can be found on any playground. Online bullies have words as their weapons, whereas the offline version use their fists. To pretend that the online variety are a special threat is ridiculous. If junior can't handle someone saying mean things about him online then he'll always be a momma's boy.

    That being said, I think it is a good thing that younger people are choosing to immerse themselves in Facebook and other forms of social med

    • Clearly you've never seen online bullies who go into extraordinary lengths to crack (maybe brute force) someone's passwords in order take over their accounts or to steal their identities to harm their reputations, or spam their web spaces with insults so that it scares away all of the victims' visitors and associates.

    • by Trepidity (597)

      I'm not sure malware is a unique problem for this age group. If anything, a typical kid probably is more savvy than a typical parent of that kid, so greater parental supervision isn't necessaril.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I'm not sure malware is a unique problem for this age group. If anything, a typical kid probably is more savvy than a typical parent of that kid, so greater parental supervision isn't necessaril.

        Bullshit, all the malware problems I have ever had have come from giving children access to the internet. It is a myth that kids are somehow magically more tech savvy than their parents just because, er, they're young and they have computers at school unlike when I was young.

        Kids really, really really don't give a shit about breaking stuff (their own or other people's). Everyone seem to forget this as they grow up, until they get their own kids and the cycle starts again.

    • by Grismar (840501)

      Your comment is so out of touch with reality that it has me wondering if I'm feeding a troll here. Clearly you've never seen online bullying in progress at its worst. And as far as bullies on the playground go: if you think the main problem of getting bullied is the risk of physical harm, you're clearly in the dark about what bullying really is about.

      The Wikipedia lemma [wikipedia.org] has it right where it says "Bullying is abusive treatment [...] involving an imbalance in power. [...] The "imbalance of power" may be soci

    • by phulegart (997083) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @08:25AM (#36105030)
      I agree with the fact that they are not equal... but not for the reasons you say they are not equal. For every playground bully, there are maybe 100 online bullies. If you have EVER spent time on a online forum, you would know this. Oh, I know that slashdot is SIMILAR to a forum in how it is set up, but there are far fewer bullies and trolls here than compared to a place like Yahoo Answers, or any gaming forum. Yes, I'm sure you could respond with some clever remark about how I must not be aware of the bullies and trolls here... but that would just be ignorant on your part.

      You say "if junior can't handle someone saying mean things about him online then he'll always be a momma's boy." so... you imply that people shouldn't allow words to hurt them, and in the same sentence you choose to use an offensive phrase to insult and offend people. That's no different than saying if a bully isn't stood up to, then the kid he is bullying deserved the beat-down. I mean, if the kid can't defend himself, he should learn how to fight... right? You do realize that it is far easier to physically lash out at an issue, then mentally process it properly... right? Not to pick on people with disabilities, or really small children, but we can use their experiences as an example. Looking at very small children... before they learn to speak properly, they learn to hit. Something scares them, angers them... they don't process it, they lash out. Look at retarded individuals or autistic individuals. Violence is often a reaction that must be dealt because that is a FAR easier way to deal with what they are feeling. So, it is harder for Junior to deal with someone saying mean things than it is for Junior to deal with someone hitting him. Junior would much rather have a black eye than have the stigma of being a "momma's boy" follow him throughout his school career. Again, if you don't realize that, you are lacking the knowledge of how things are... and by definition that is ignorant.

      You aren't upset when I point out how ignorant you are about these things, are you? It doesn't bother you... does it?

      Now, add to that the fact that there is a separation of the individual from the incident, that occurs when there is a case of cyber-bullying... and it is FAR easier for an every day common Joe who would NEVER be a bully in real life to become a bully online. In fact, there are quite a number of people who would actually be VICTIMS of real life bullying that take up cyber-bullying as a way to overcompensate. When people can't see your face, and you can't see theirs... it makes it FAR easier to say things that would sting and stick with someone. When you can post something for the WORLD to read, and then pass that around to all of someone's friends.. that has a lasting impact. Are you that ignorant of how actions on the internet are costing some people their jobs? Do you really think that what happens here on the internet (and gets cached by Google) doesn't have an impact?

      "To pretend that the online variety are a special threat is ridiculous." WAKE UP! How many kids have committed suicide because of a playground bully? Now, how many kids have committed suicide because of an ONLINE bully? When you were in Jr. High school... if someone started passing around photographs of you having homosexual relations... or relations with a person 50 years your Sr... how would that have made you feel? What if there was NOTHING you could do from EVERYONE at the school seeing those photos? It doesn't matter if those photos were faked. Ok. Don't like photos? What if all of a sudden a notebook appeared, and it looked just like yours, and inside there were all these horrible things written about your friends, and your teachers... and that notebook got passed around and shown to everyone? What if it LOOKED like it was from you... I mean, it LOOKED like it was your handwriting, even to you? This is no different than a cyber bully setting up a fake facebook page (as has already been done) and making it look like
    • by Rennt (582550)
      Yes, bullies are easy to dismiss aren't they? Certainly children have never been driven to self-harm because of systematic emotional abuse. Well, except for a few momma's boys and girls of course, but who cares about them?
    • by tehcyder (746570)

      I think it is a good thing that younger people are choosing to immerse themselves in Facebook and other forms of social media.

      Yeah, it's not like there's anything else for them to do that might require them to use their imagination or intellect instead.

  • by Vintermann (400722) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @04:05AM (#36103864) Homepage

    ... no matter how much they pester you for it. Because a 13-year old typically doesn't know that visitor information is not exposed in the facebook API. (Neither does the typical adult, unfortunately) So, when an app promises to give it to her, she may believe it when she is told [random dude chosen by the app] visits her profile ten times every day. That is bad for an adult, whose friends suddenly thinks he's an obsessive, creepy stalker - but if the app-clicker is underage, those people may think you're a pedophile as well.

    It happened to a journalist whose blog I read, I've experienced similar things myself (though not quite that bad).

    • If you have an obviously legitimate reason to "friend" the kid and it's obvious to anyone reading the kid's page OR your page that there is a legitimate connection, then I don't see the problem.

      Obvious reasons:
      * You are a relative.
      * Your kid is also a friend of the kid AND nobody will wonder why your kid and this kid are friends.
      * You are using an "official" account like you are a schoolteacher using a special, non-personal account for official school business and you've friended all of your students.

      Person

  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by pitchpipe (708843) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @04:10AM (#36103882)
    the internet: where the men are men, the women are men, and Over 7.5 Million Facebook Users Are FBI agents.
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @08:00AM (#36104802) Journal
      Current FaceBook demographics:
      • 7.5 million under-13s
      • 50 million DoD-controlled bots
      • 100 million marketroids
      • 50 million sockpuppet accounts for people with no real friends to pretend that they're popular
      • 250 million abandoned accounts
      • 40 million people wondering why AOL / Geocities / MySpace looks so different these days
      • 2.5 million - everyone else
  • How do they know? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @04:10AM (#36103886) Homepage

    If Consumer Reports has such a sophisticated method to accurately determine the age millions of of Facebook users, why don't they share their method with Facebook so they can improve their policy enforcement?

    • by Arlet (29997)

      A simple survey, followed by extrapolation.

    • by Zoxed (676559)

      > why don't they share their method with Facebook

      I would guess that Facebook do not really care about the real age of their users: the limit is more for legislators/concerned parents/PR.

    • by AVryhof (142320)

      Look at who they list as parents' age and subtract the average age of pregnancy based on their location.

      It's not perfect, because a lot of girls (over 13 into their 20s) list their friends as parents for whatever reason, (seen kids of friends do that as well as changing last names, etc) but for the ones that do that, you also get a fair portion of ones who don't list parents.... so drop all of both and you can still say "over x amount" since that would include any results you dropped since you are saying hi

  • I know I may have sneered at "Think of the Children Arguments" in the past but I loathe Facebook and all it stands for so I am ready to compromise my principles in order to help ferment an unstoppable outpouring of public outrage against it.

  • Glen Quagmire approves this post! Giggity giggity goo! Heh heh, alright!
  • by theNAM666 (179776) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @04:38AM (#36103982)

    Consumer Reports' survey found that their accounts were largely unsupervised by their parents, exposing them to malware or serious threats such as predators or bullies."

    Oh my nursing Athena. Is this what Slashdot has some to? Really? This is the quality of stories we get? "Exposing them to" -- gasp-- "malware or" -- gasp -- "serious threats such as predators" -- gasp-- "or bullies."

    Give me a break. Where did the submitter grow up, in a test tube? With eighteen parents and doctors watching every move?

    Someone please post the submitters' physical address. Please. I'd like to deliver a Darwin award invitation. Before s/he manages to escape parental supervision, stub a toe, and die from an infection of the hangnail.

    • by ildon (413912)

      You're the idiot here. This article is not necessarily posted to show support of the content, but primarily to inform you of its existence and allow a place to discuss it. Even if that discussion is mostly mockery and derision.

      Do you also think that when CNN tells you about a suicide bombing that they're tacitly giving support to the suicide bomber's agenda?

      • by theNAM666 (179776)
        The submitter is responsible for their language and what they implicitly endorse as fact by choice of language. It is one thing for CNN to report on a bombing, it is quite another to frame that report in a way that repeats the bomber's claims and uncritically spreads parts of their ideology as if it were fact. The submitter here does that and the /. moderators accept it by posting.
    • by dsanfte (443781)

      Seems you haven't been on Slashdot for very long either. These sorts of baiting and trolling summaries are picked by the editors for a reason: to spur discussion (and troll for hits). You took the bait. Congratulations.

  • I would imagine most 13 year olds are more up to speed with the dangers of malware, etc., than most people over 40. As for other risks - certainly predators might be drawn to such places, but I would imagine that most 13 year olds would give these relatively ancient guys serious abuse - it's the 13 year old depressive loners who are looking for attention who are most vulnerable and those vulnerabilities will be rooted in their life away from Facebook, not due to Facebook. Moreover, abusers are almost always

  • "Over 7.5 Million Facebook Users Are Under 13 61"

    Got to love Slashdot's broken layout, showing me the number of comments right there in the headline. Still, this one made me giggle:

    "AMD To Support Coreboot On All Upcoming Processors 133"

  • by bob_jordan (39836) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @07:08AM (#36104522)

    Hello,

    Well I am friends with a rabbit and a dog on facebook. I know dog-years are 7 human years so the dog is ok, but does anyone know the rabbit-human age conversion factor?

    Thanks in advance,

    Bob.

    • by rwv (1636355)

      I only hope and pray that your rabbit friend hasn't been exposed to Malware or bullying. And assuming that she's active on Farmville, I hope her carrot crop is during well this spring.

      Seriously though... there's no reason for minors or animals to have social networking accounts. Unequivocally no reason. Not one. Same thing goes for e-mail accounts, though I will at least allow for the possibility that 4th graders may be old enough to submit essays through e-mail to save paper. Saving paper fits into

    • Well I found this for you, and it's on the interwebs so it must be reliable:

      http://www.threelittleladiesrabbitry.com/rabbityears.php [threelittl...bbitry.com]

      So as long as Mr Bunnikins is 5 months or more you're OK, no one is going to be worried...
  • Meh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Peter Mork (951443) <Peter.Mork@gmail.com> on Thursday May 12, 2011 @07:40AM (#36104696) Homepage
    In other news, millions of children are sent by their parents to school everyday where they are exposed to new ideas and serious threats such as potential predators or bullies.
    • by tehcyder (746570)

      In other news, millions of children are sent by their parents to school everyday where they are exposed to new ideas and serious threats such as potential predators or bullies.

      Yes, parents just turf their kids out in the morning, have no idea where they are, who they're talking to, or anything. You must have a fucking weird education system where you live.

  • Over 7.5M FBI's accounts on Facebook ... and they are men.
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Recall the US Air Force wanted troll Persona management software?
      Licenses for 50 users with 10 personas each? Lets try the math...with 10% of 7.5 million.
      Say 50 templates, really simple personas per agent? ~50 US states. Thats down to a few 100's of agents per state to ensure technically, culturally and geographacilly consistent personas.
      Update each one for a few mins per week, database each friend request via automated image recognition and ip/isp details...
  • FTFA: "âoeWhatâ(TM)s even more troubling was the finding from our survey that indicated that a majority of parents of kids 10 and under seemed largely unconcerned by their childrenâ(TM)s use of the site.â

    But, we're telling them to be scared. Why aren't they scared? These parents must be the same insane lunatics that use craigslist when you know you will be killed if you do. These kids could be bullied, you know. Unlike real life, there's no way to avoid the person or never hear what the

  • And 23.5 million other users appear to be cats!

Repel them. Repel them. Induce them to relinquish the spheroid. - Indiana University fans' chant for their perennially bad football team

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