Facebook denies opening network to kids under 13

Published May 21, 2012

| FoxNews.com

The world’s largest social network, fresh from a Friday IPO that raised a record $105 billion and created a small army of millionaires, is still appropriate only for those ages 13 and over -- despite a  (London) Sunday Times report that it was opening a public debate on overturning the minimum-age requirement.

The report cited Simon Milner, the head of Facebook policy in Britain, who told the paper that "a lot of parents are happy their kids are on [Facebook]. We would like to hear from people what the answer might be [in a debate on the issue]."

The Times said Milner was set to launch that debate at an education festival hosted by the newspaper in June. His comments appeared under the headline, "Under-13s may be let into Facebook fold."

Facebook officials declined FoxNews.com requests for confirmation that kids might be allowed onto the site. But an official from the London office claimed Milner was misreported.

"We have no idea how The Times concluded that we are opening up to under-13s from the conversation Simon Milner had with them," the spokesman told the Telegraph.

Despite trying to protect youth from cyber bullying and the dangers of predatory online grooming, Milner was quoted as saying, "There is reputable evidence that there are kids under 13 who are lying about their age to get on to Facebook. Some seem to be doing it with their parents' permission and help."

But the Facebook spokesman said, "All we have said is what we have been saying for months -- that minors on Facebook and the Internet is an important issue and we want to work with the broader industry to look at ways of keeping minors safe.”

“The headline copied from The Times is no reflection of that conversation."

Newscore contributed to this report

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