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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 4 August, 2020

Zuckerberg says Facebook is not going underage

The founder of the social networking site says his comments about opening the site to under-13s were taken out of context. He’s part of a team addressing today’s G8 summit on internet issues.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the e-G8 conference in Paris yesterday
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the e-G8 conference in Paris yesterday
Image: Bob Edme/AP/Press Association Images

FACEBOOK FOUNDER MARK Zuckerberg has scrambled to deny media reports that Facebook was planning to allow children under the age of 13 to create their own profiles and provide information about themselves.

He was quoted as saying “that will be a fight we take on at some point” when questioned about the age limit placed on Facebook in most countries. PC Mag reports that the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) forbids sites from collecting information from children under 13, and that Zuckerberg said that if the ban was lifted “then we’d start to learn what works”. He said that Facebook would take the necessary precautions to make sure that children were protected.

Zuckerberg says that his comments were taken out of context, reports Reuters, and has said that the issue of Facebook profiles for under-13s is not a prority for the company. A recent survey found that 7.5 million Facebook users are underage, with a large number of those under the age of ten. Facebook says that it takes steps to tackle the problem.

Zuckerberg and Google boss Mark Schmidt have been taking part in the first ever e-G8 gathering in Paris this week, hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The findings will be presented at today’s G8 summit. Sarkozy has called for tighter regulation of the internet, particularly when it comes to intellectual property.

Zuckerberg and Schmidt have warned against too much regulation, reports the BBC.  Talking about the role of Facebook in political and social movements like those in the Middle East the social network’s founder played down the role of the site, and also said that it’s hard to facilitate the spread of information without also collecting information. He said:

You can’t isolate some things you like about the internet and control other things you don’t.

Zuckerberg plays down Facebook’s role in Middle East protests:

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About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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