June 5, 2012
Facebook is considering ways to invite children younger than 13 onto its social network, a controversial move that could bolster the company’s bottom line but also spark concern among regulators over the safety of young Internet users.
The move highlights what analysts say will be a recurring problem for the newly public firm: Facebook needs to find ways to increase revenue and please its shareholders, but those actions can stir privacy concerns.
And few subjects have sparked as much debate as the social networking giant’s interaction with young children. Kids are spending more time online than ever. On social networks, they are exposing themselves with pictures, location information and details about their personal lives — all valuable information for advertisers who want to hawk sodas and jeans or ingrain their brand names on young minds.
So far, Facebook has restricted users younger than 13.
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