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NY Post: More than half of US kids under 13 have illegal FB account


More than half of children under age 13 in the United States have a Facebook account despite the social networking giant’s restrictions on age, according to a recent survey. The New York Post reported a New York University survey of 1,007 parents in the United States showed 55 percent of 12-year-olds are registered, often with the help of their parents. Citing the results of the survey, the report said that of the 55 percent who have Facebook pages, 76 percent of them registered with the help of their parents. Also, the study showed a third of the parents of 11-year-olds and 19 percent of the parents of 10-year-olds reported their child has an account. The study also showed many parents in the survey did not have an issue with their children having a profile on the site, despite the age restrictions. While Facebook's terms bar anyone under 13 from signing up, the report said “it’s easy to lie about your age and create an account with a few quick clicks." One such parent, Marc Smerling, 48, of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, said he has no problem with his 12-year-old son Mason using Facebook. “All his friends are on it. They’ve given up on e-mail. We keep our computer in a public area. When he’s on, there’s always a parent there,” Smerling said. He also said the site’s age rule is an exercise in futility. “It’s unenforceable. It’s like having a big bowl of candy and not letting them have any. The Internet is everywhere around us. You can’t get away from it. You just have to have a long conversation about the rules,” he said. Some still say no Another parent, Delores Pettigrew, 35, of Crown Heights, said she will not allow her 12-year-old daughter log on due to safety fears. “I don’t think it’s safe. It is too much information to be putting out there. She’s only 12. There are sex offenders out there,” she said. “They should have stricter rules. You don’t know who’s out there pretending to be a kid,” she added. — LBG, GMA News
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