According to a Consumer Reports study, over 7.5 million of Facebook's users are under 13, a problem Senator Jay Rockefeller recently called "indefensible." But CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that kids should be allowed on Facebook at a very young age.
In an interview with John Doerr, first reported by Fortune, Zuckerberg said that the future of education will be enabled by technology, including social networks like Facebook. Currently, Facebook does not allow children under 13 to join, which Zuckerberg says is due to the restrictions regarding such members. But according to Fortune, Zuckerberg says he hopes all that will change.
"That will be a fight we take on at some point," he said. "My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age."
Facebook has faced ongoing scrutiny over privacy concerns. In a recent study of 65 participants, all 65 found that they were sharing information through Facebook that they had believed private. Another report, by Symantec, reported that millions of users' profile information had been leaked through over 100,000 third-party apps. Facebook currently allows users to share home addresses and cellphone numbers with third-party apps.
Alongside privacy problems, Facebook also presents the potential for a variety of other cyber-dangers. Consumer Reports found that over 5 million households had had serious issues on the site, including identity theft, scams, computer viruses, and cyberbullying.
Facebook is also currently being sued for failing to get parental permission before using minors' personal information in its social ads.
Despite all of this, Zuckerberg promises that if children were allowed on the site, that proper security measures would be taken.
"Because of the restrictions we haven't even begun this learning process," Zuckerberg said. "If they're lifted then we'd start to learn what works. We'd take a lot of precautions to make sure that they [younger kids] are safe."
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