Facebook deletes ‘thousands of U13 accounts a day’

By Anne Collier

This wouldn’t be a bad media literacy lesson! I had to click from CNN to Fast Company to AllFacebook.com to get to the original coverage in Australia’s Daily Telegraph , which reported that “about 20,000 children are kicked off Facebook every day for lying about their age” (language that oddly suggests punishment). The Daily Telegraph was basing its lede on a statement made by Facebook adviser and former US Federal Trade Commissioner Mozelle Thompson on a panel before the Australian Parliament’s Cyber-Safety Committee. What Mr. Thompson actually said, according to both the Daily Telegraph and PC Magazine was that “Facebook removes 20,000 people a day, people who are underage.” The site later clarified that, saying “those 20,000 removals cover a variety of policy violations, including spam, inappropriate content, and underage use,” PC Magazine reports. Facebook’s Terms of Service have a minimum age of 13 for anyone setting up an account, and the site does disable or block thousands of under-age accounts a day, its chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, told the New York Times. The Pew Internet & American Life Project reported about a year ago that 82% of US 14-to-17-year-olds use social network sites The percentages for younger users were 62% of US 13-year-olds and 46% of 12-year-olds.

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