Facebook is like the world's biggest elementary school, with 5 million kids under the age of 10, according to a new special report by Consumer Reports. This, even though Facebook officially doesn't allow anyone under the age of 13.
The report also says one million kids under 18 have been bullied on Facebook, although this seems like an arbitrarily huge number stuck in because everything about kids and the internet these days has to mention bullying.
Youngsters on Facebook isn't surprising, considering that the only thing they have to do to beat Facebook's age verification process is enter a fake birth date when they sign up. And it's hard to see what else Facebook could do to keep them off: Consumer Reports technology editor Jeff Fox argues Facebook should institute a credit card verification process. Yes, let's give Mark Zuckerberg all our credit card information, since he is perfectly trustworthy when it comes to personal data.
When MySpace became flooded with tweens, there was enormous panic over the various "MySpace Suicides" and MySpace sexual predators. So far, Facebook has largely escaped a similar frenzy. Maybe because people have just resigned themselves to the fact that all horrible things in real life now take place online as well? We'll see if that lasts.
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