Facebook may have a minimum user age of 13, but 67.3 percent of posts on the social network are written at much younger reading levels — fifth grade or below — according to a study of 5,804 pages with more than 1,000 likes apiece, and 1,578,006 total posts, by digital intelligence firm TrackMaven.
A change in the Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) means that children under the age of 13 can be shown ads targeted toward them when they’re online. This could lead to Facebook lowering its age of admission.
As more and more middle school and high school students log onto Facebook, courts have had to reassess the definition of virtual free speech. Many younger members use Facebook to vent frustration, but when posts are aimed toward teachers and faculty members, where is the line drawn? A Minnesota court recently ruled in favor of a 12-year-old student who posted unfavorably about a school staff member on Facebook, citing that the school’s demand for her social media passwords violated First and Fourth Amendment rights.
Facebook’s minimum age of 13 is often skirted by kids, with the help of their parents, in many cases, leading to the question: Is 13 the right age?