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Should Young Children Be Allowed on Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg Says Yes

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Facebook only allows people 13 and over to sign up for an account — but the social site’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, wants that to change.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) mandates that only individuals over the age of 13 can have accounts on websites that collect information about users. And since Facebook certainly does that, younger kids aren’t legally allowed to be among the site’s 900 million users.

At a recent summit on innovation in education, the newly-married Zuckerberg said that those rules may be “a fight we take on at some point.”

He believes young people can learn from social networking sites, saying, “My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age.” And to possibly soothe alarmed parents, he added, “We’d take a lot of precautions to make sure that [younger kids] are safe.”

He didn’t say exactly what children could gain from being on sites like Facebook, but he feels the benefits would be many.

“Because of the restrictions we haven’t even begun this learning process,” Zuckerberg said. “If [the ban is] lifted then we’d start to learn what works.”


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