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Facebook for children. yes or no

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Speaking at a summit on innovation in schools and teaching in Newark, New Jersey, last May, Mr Zuckerberg said that the current age limit would be challenged “at some point”.

Claire Perry, Conservative MP for Devizes, who has campaigned for online safety, said at the time that she “would be very uncomfortable about extending this and I think it’s very, very irresponsible of Facebook to be suggesting it”.

“With close parental supervision all of these social networking sites can be interesting and enjoyable. But I know from my own experience it is all too easy for a young child to get involved in situations that I think are really uncomfortable,” she said.

Facebook’s usual 13-and over age limit elsewhere is dictated by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which became Federal Law in America in 1998. However, current UK legislation does not preclude Facebook from being used by under-13s - but the site’s own terms and conditions do. The US is currently reviewing its COPPA legislation. In Spain, only those children 14-and-over are permitted to use Facebook because of national legislation.

Mr Zuckerberg claimed last year that the educational benefits of using Facebook were so great that children should be allowed to use the site. The site currently closes the accounts of 20,000 underage users per day.

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