Facebook wants children as young as 6 to be its customers

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Facebook wants children as young as 6 to be its customers
Mark ZuckerbergBCCL
  • An internal blog post has revealed Facebook wants to cross the COPPA threshold.
  • The company wants to develop products for children as young as 6.
  • As per the post, the company was hiring employees to build products for young children.
Facebook has been under the scanner since whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked internal documents. The Indian government has also started an investigation into the social media giant’s algorithm and moderation process.

New documents accessed by NBC News have revealed that Facebook actively hired employees to build products for children as young as 6 years to expand its user base. The documents were from an internal blog post and the author’s name was redacted.

“Our company is making a major investment in youth and has spun up a cross-company virtual team to make safer, more private, experiences for youth that improve their and their household’s well-being. For many of our products, we historically haven’t designed for under 13,” reads the document.

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As per the post, the company planned on hiring several positions across the company to work on products for children below 13 years.

The company divided the target groups into five – kids ranging from 6 to 9 years, tweens ranging from 10 to 12 years, early teens ranging from 13 to 15 years, late teens ranging from 16 to 18 years and adults.

“These age groups can be used to define education, transparency, controls and defaults that will meet the needs of young users,” adds the post.

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The post includes a diagram titled “Where we’ve been and where we’re going”, highlighting how the company intends to expand its user base from the current threshold of 13 years. It mentions the regulations around online services directed to children under 13 years old by the Federal Trade Commission called the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule or COPPA.

As per the post, the company treats children above 13 years like regular users and ask younger people not to use the company’s products. However, the company wants to change this and start targeting children as young as 6.

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