Some 7.5 million Facebook users over the past year were younger than 13, according to a Consumer Reports survey.
The report, made public on Tuesday, is based on a survey of 2,089 members of a TNS interactive consumer panel. Using that sample, the magazine was able to estimate that more than 5 million Facebook users are 10 years old and younger, making up the bulk of the 7.5 million figure. Facebook’s terms of service require users to be at least 13 years old. To join, though, users merely have to enter their supposed birth dates when they sign up.
But Facebook’s screening requirements for minors may be a moot topic. In a statement, Jeff Fox, technology editor for Consumer Reports, said the majority of parents of kids 10 and under “seemed largely unconcerned by their children’s use of the site.”
Reps from Facebook could not be reached for comment.
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This isn’t the first time Facebook’s policies on minors have been called into question. A class action suit filed in August in Los Angeles alleged that Facebook’s “Like” button triggered instances in which minors were endorsing products without their parents’ consent.