What is the minimum age to open a Facebook account?
13 years of age
Facebook policy requires its members to be 13 years old before they can create an account. (In some jurisdictions, the age limit may be higher).
Creating an account with false info is a violation of Facebook terms. This includes accounts registered by someone older on the behalf of someone under age 13.
This age minimum is set by Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. You can read it in the section titled “Registration and Account Security“.
It says: “Users of the social network must be at least 13 years old in the United States. (And, even older, in some countries.). Millions of pre-teens use the service anyway. Some get permission from their parents. Some lie about their age to get through the signup process.”
Why are some Facebook users younger than 13?
There are millions of preteens that use Facebook, despite the age limit. Some kids get permission to use the social media platform by asking their parents to create an account. (That is against the Facebook policy.), and, some lie about their age to get past restrictions.
How do we know? For starters, ask any 12 year old. For evidence, see this report. It suggests more than 55% of 12 years olds have Facebook accounts that were registered by their parents.
Why does Facebook limit use of its site to people 13 or older?
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires that websites that collect personal information about their members are allowed to offer access to anyone under the age of 13. This rule applies to Facebook.
So, here’s what the regulation says:
The primary goal of COPPA is to place parents in control over what information is collected from their young children online. The Rule was designed to protect children under age 13 while accounting for the dynamic nature of the Internet. The Rule applies to operators of commercial websites and online services (including mobile apps) directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children, and operators of general audience websites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13.
See the full text of the regulation here.
Will Facebook ever change their minimum age limit?
It is possible that Facebook will lobby legislators to change the law. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said children under 13 should be allow access to Facebook. His reason? It is educational. “That will be a fight we take on at some point,” he said, according to Fortune.com “My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age. Because of the restrictions we haven’t even begun this learning process. If they’re lifted then we’d start to learn what works. We’d take a lot of precautions to make sure that they [younger kids] are safe.”