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15 October 2011

The KQED television station in San Francisco and NPR have a show page from their Mind/Shirft program which asks "How Young is Too Young for Kids to Start Social Networking?"  The story discusses the statistics about under-age users on Facebook:
"What’s the appropriate age to start logging onto social networking sites? According to the Terms of Service for Facebook, at least, the answer is 13.

But that doesn’t stop thousands of younger children from signing up. According to Facebook’s chief privacy adviser Mozelle Thompson, Facebook removes about 20,000 users a day who are underage."

Screen shot from http://mindshift.kqed.org/

It mentions sites aimed at younger children, like imbee, Club Penguin, and Togetherville as alternatives. It asks "(W)ill kids be interested in Togetherville or Club Penguin when their friends and family are on Facebook? Should parents be complicit in signing up their under-13 kids on Facebook?"

Do you thinks kids are interested in being on Facebook because it's Facebook, and "everyone" is there, or is it a desire for a media social existence...in which case, is Club Penguin as good?

Mind/Shift has published two pages on this topic since the one mentioned above :
Should Parents Have the Backdoor Key to Their Kids’ Facebook Accounts??
The Pitfalls and Promises of Social Media and Kids

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