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Facebook Bans 20,000 Kids a Day 192

autospa writes "Although Facebook requires all users to be 13 or older, the social network bans 20,000 underage users a day, a spokeswoman said. 'There are people who lie. There are people who are under 13 [accessing Facebook],' Mozelle Thompson, Facebook's chief privacy adviser, told the The Telegraph."
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Facebook Bans 20,000 Kids a Day

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  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @08:58AM (#35585002) Homepage


  • by leaen ( 987954 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @08:59AM (#35585006)
    I though facebook is past time for teenagers already cause their mum and grandma are at facebook too.
    • What an excellent characterization of tween-linguistics. This is by far the BEST post on the subject.
  • by vawwyakr ( 1992390 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @09:03AM (#35585046)
    20k undercover police officer's fake accounts banded perday from facebook.
  • I don't understand (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @09:03AM (#35585048) Journal

    When asked by the Australian parliamentary online safety committee how Facebook can detect those lying on age forms, Thompson replied, "It's not perfect." In fact, it's relatively easy. A standard online form asks a user if he or she is 13 or over, and the user can tell the truth or not. ComScore estimates about 3.6 million of kids under 12 use Facebook in the United States.

    Uh, I don't understand this retarded article. How are they determining that users are under 13? The article says "In fact, it's relatively easy." but then goes on to talk about something entirely different. Of course the user can tell the truth or lie, but how is Facebook determining they lie? In their own words "It's not perfect" so what are they doing? Facial recognition to flag people that look young? Network of young friends? Use of improper grammar and slang in posts? I hate lame articles like this.

    • "first grade was great today..."
    • I hate lame articles like this.

      Then why are you reading /. ?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @09:29AM (#35585344)

      I worked moderating dating/chat websites for a while, and we had to deal with quite a few underage users. There are a few methods for bringing the data to the moderators attention (Bayesian filtering, user reporting, even identifying likely cases by their friends within the site), but they come down to one factor:

      People generally only bother to lie about their age in the age field. In their 'about me', in their username, in their pictures, in every single chat conversation or status update they'll be entirely honest under the assumption that the site only checks the Date Of Birth field. After a user/profile has been flagged as likely for whatever reason, it's generally a matter of seconds to verify whether or not that's the case.

    • They are probably cross-referencing the info provided by the user against their databases. I'm sure the personal data available to facebook is comprehensive. For example:

      New user lists his/her address, gender. John Smith, Male, 13, lives at 20 Silicon Valley way, CA.

      Facebook accesses data bases that tell it that the inhabitants of 20 Silicon Valley way are Peter, Mary, Linda & John, ages 35, 32, 13 & 10, respectively.

      Facebook figures out that the new user is actually only 10.

    • All I know is that my stupid cousin encouraged both of her kids (8 and 10) to get Facebook accounts and brow beat several members of the family into friending them. Their accounts haven't been closed after nearly a year. I'm half-tempted to finally take the friend requests then immediately do the "Which Sexual Position are You?" quiz and post my results.

      • by Belial6 ( 794905 )
        Why would you want to do that? I truly don't understand why you would have any problem with her having her kids on Facebook? What is the problem with her kids being in contact with their family?
        • It's not per se that they have Facebook accounts that bothers me. Technically it's against the terms of service, but that's hardly a serious issue. What annoys me is that my cousin had her kids make these account and send friend requests to essentially everyone in my immediate family without warning us ahead of time. My mother is one of five sisters, many of whom have two or three adult children of their own now, it's quite a substantial number of people we're talking about here. When people ignored and

      • by rwv ( 1636355 )
        So your cousin is depending on you not to be inappropriate on Facebook and you're tempted to prove her wrong out of spite? I can't possibly imagine what could go wrong.
      • I don't think you were 18 or even 13 when you learned about the concept. I was 6 to 9 years old when I was discussing them with my classmates and looking at porn.

        The law that makes Facebook restrict age and ultimately makes kids lie is idiotic. It is one of the many crappy laws passed back when normal non-nerd people were terrified of the internet.

    • by vlm ( 69642 )

      Of course the user can tell the truth or lie, but how is Facebook determining they lie?

      Facebook is not. Their second grade teacher is determining it, and flagging the account as "impersonation". This works pretty well if you live in a small town. When I used to have a FB account it would pop random people up from my hometown and current city and ask me to friend them... Or was that the dating site ads? Well anyway. If you put your town as "LA" or "NYC" this doesn't work, but proportionally very few people live there, or they technically live and attend school in a very small suburb, whic

    • by Sir_Sri ( 199544 )

      A couple of options jump out at me.

      Any point where they could enter a birthdate, you can use that.
      If they post what school they're at, and you know they're under about grade 6, you can use that (especially handy if a school only goes to grade 6), or anything else about what grade they are in.
      Probably user reports.

      I wouldn't want to go blabbing the technique used, just because it's probably possible to troll people with it who are close to the age. And one thing you want to do is get em hooked young so they

    • Uh, I don't understand this retarded article. How are they determining that users are under 13? The article says "In fact, it's relatively easy." but then goes on to talk about something entirely different. Of course the user can tell the truth or lie, but how is Facebook determining they lie?

      I always liked how Leisure Suit Larry did it - Asking questions an adult at the time would know, but a 13 y/o kid hoping to see 8 bit boobies would not know.

    • I think it's like the no-fly lists. I once had a yahoo account that I could not get to some business networking sections and they recommended that I go to the underage site. There was no way to get them to change whatever flag had been set, through emails or phone calls. Watch out you may be under aged .

  • I wish they would let us customize our default posting options, by age or individual. I would love nothing better than if my postings by default couldn't be seen by anyone under 18 (i.e., my nephews) and anyone over 60 (i.e., my parents).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, but more interesting would be if they could fix me a pair of goggles one could use that only showed "beautiful women"* and blurred everyone else.
      * for a given value of beautiful.

    • Default posting options are there... Create a list called "Restricted" and add people to it and then restrict their access in security to not see your wall. It takes 5 minutes to create and one second to add a new friend to it after it's set up. If you don't want to restrict every post, there's a 'lock' under each post that if you want to block the post to the "Restricted" list, you click it and customize and add the "Restricted" list to "Hide this from". Lists are your friend.
    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      She may have said she was 18, but the grey hair should have tipped you off she wasn't!

  • I know a few children who have accounts on Facebook (children of my friends), how do I report them so I can finally be rid of their immature comments on their parents' publications?
    • Tell the police they are 60-years-olds posing as teenagers.
    • Um, tell their parents?
    • by Belial6 ( 794905 )
      Or you can just unfriend their parents, since even considering that is a clear indication you don't respect their parents and are not their friends anyway.
  • by tekrat ( 242117 )

    My youngest niece and all her friends are on facebook and she's under 13 -- she uses her ipod touch to access the site. She can type with her thumbs faster than I can on a keyboard with all 10 fingers! Her spelling is terrible, but, she gets her messages across. I'd never heard of this rule until now, I just assumed it was normal for her to be on facebook.

    • From the quality of spelling and grammar I've seen on Facebook, I'm pretty sure EVERY member is under 13!
    • I probably have a dozen or so family members under the age of 13 on FB, and know quite a few friends whose kids are. How else are they going to play Farmville? I can't think of any of them who have posted a single picture or status update.

  • Sadly, Facebook is the Crack cocaine of the internet. Facebook has put oodles of web games on their site that kids dig. Children are very social creatures, and this is basically the cookie jar that's within reach and a tiny bit of innovation (lying) from kids to get that cookie. The problem is that kids don't think through things, when they lie.

    They may say they are 14, and then have open discussions about all the 3rd grade class stuff the kid does and posts from other friends to post dates and times and

  • My son.... (Score:4, Funny)

    by flashingcurser ( 934530 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:22AM (#35585906) Homepage
    My 12 yo son and all of his friends have facebook accounts. The only exploitation that I can see is my wife's farmville looks like a plantation with a bunch of 12yo slaves.
  • This is simply shocking. 13 year old kids lie to get on Facebook? Why - back in my day, they hadn't invented LYING yet! The younger generations are going to hell, I tell you. Lying. My generation would never have though of telling a lie to anyone. Well, maybe to get out of a horse-whipping or something like that. Even then, we'd have crossed our fingers behind our backs!

  • How many with fake accounts?

  • There are obvious reasons why there are federal age requirements for Internet use: sexual predators, cyberbullying, adult content and explicit language.

    Those are the obvious reasons. But none of those are correct.

    [U.S. Congress] wanted to make certain that corporations could not collect or sell data about children under the age of 13 without parental permission, so they created a requirement to check age and get parental permission for those under 13. Most companies took one look at COPPA and decided that t

  • I am tired of moms contaminating walls asking if they did their homework or to watch the language.
    -"Mom, stop treating me like a kid."
    -"You will always be my kid"
    -"Mooom, I am 30 years old..."
    -"Hush, are you eating well? You look skinny".

    Parental participation should be illegal.
    It was hard enough to move out from the basement, Facebook is the nightmare for overprotected kids: it is the digital basement. Forever... and ever... and ever... (curled up in fetal position)

    • Well put your mom on list and make the list to not see anything. Problem solved.
      Or just don't add them in Facebook.

May all your PUSHes be POPped.