Are 'Tweens Ready For Facebook?

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Here & Now Guest:

Do you know 'tweens, or pre-teens, who are on Facebook? They're not supposed to be. Besides the fact that Facebook's minimum age is 13, there is federal law that bans children under13 from opening social media accounts without verifiable parental consent.

But millions of 'tweens, often with their parents' approval, simply enter a fake birth date to open a social media account. Dr. Michael Rich surveyed 6th graders in Brookline, Massachusetts and found that 42% were already on Facebook.

Many have been allowed to sign up illegally by parents like Deborah Kotz, who let her 12-year old sign up for Facebook, but soon came to regret it after learning more from Dr. Rich.

Rich shared one startling statistic with Here & Now's Monica Brady-Myerov. "Six % of ['tweens surveyed]  said they had been asked for a photograph of themselves by someone they didn't know," he said.

This segment aired on June 20, 2011.


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