Founder and CEO says he will challenge Federal law in future
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that children under the age of 13 should be permitted to use the social networking site because of the possible educational benefits of using the site.
At present, the site’s policies require users to be at least 13 years old.
There are growing concerns of abuse and online bullying of children on social networking sites.
Recently a survey by Consumer Reports said that it found Facebook had 7.5 million underage users in the US alone, a violation of the site’s policies.
The Consumer Reports "State of the Net" survey found that over five million of the users were under age 11, adding that more than 5 million US households were exposed to threats such as virus infections and identity theft. Facebook also has one million children who have been bullied on the site, Consumer Reports said.
IT security company Symantec said recently that Facebook could have inadvertently leaked users’ personal information to third parties and advertisers over the past few years.
Currently, the age limit is decided by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act which was made Federal Law in America in 1998.
Zuckerberg has said that his company will challenge such a law in future because young students stand to benefit from using the site, reported the BBC.
"That will be a fight we take on at some point," said Zuckerberg.
"My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age.
Speaking at a recent summit on innovation in schools in California, Zuckerberg said that though Facebook has not embarked on any project for young children, it would do so if the age restrictions are lifted.
"Because of the [legal] restrictions we haven’t even begun this learning process," said Zuckerberg.
"If they’re lifted then we’d start to learn what works."
In March, Facebook added a new option to contact a "trusted friend" to prevent online bullying.