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Parents helping children break Facebook age limits
Children's Minister Tim Loughton has claimed that parents are helping their children set up under-age profiles on social networking site Facebook, meaning that children were getting involved in social media too early.
Mr Loughton commented that parents had a responsibility to monitor youngsters' online activity, adding: "Having a Facebook page, you should be at least 13 to do that. That is not legally enforceable. We know, and I know from personal experience, the temptations for younger children to set up a Facebook site and get involved with social media. And I also know that in too many cases they do that aided and abetted by parents. So it's not just a question of giving information to parents, it's making sure parents are acting responsibly on behalf of their children too."
When individuals set up Facebook accounts, they are asked to certify that they are 13 or over by entering a date of birth. If the date of birth shows them to be younger they are prevented from continuing.
A Facebook spokeswoman said it set the age limit for setting up accounts to comply with international regulations on children accessing social media. It also said it applied more stringent protections and security settings for its younger users aged between 13 and 17.
This involves limiting who can see what teenagers post on their accounts to people in their social networks - Facebook friends, friends of friends, and people they have a prior connection with.