Facebook Bans 20,000 Underage Users Per Day
Facebook chief privacy advisor Mozelle Thompson appeared before the Australian Parliament’s cyber-safety committee this week to discuss Internet-related security issues. Thanks to the event, we learned that about 20,000 users are kicked off Facebook every day for various infractions, including for lying about their age.
“There are people who lie. There are people who are under 13 [accessing Facebook],” Thompson told Federal Parliament’s cyber-safety committee, according to The Telegraph. “Facebook removes 20,000 people a day, people who are underage.”
Although the company requires its users to be at least 13-years-old, the limit is easily circumvented, like on pretty much any website on the Internet. “While the social network has mechanisms to detect liars,” Thompson admitted that “It’s not perfect”.
The original report suggested that the 20,000 accounts banned daily are all for individuals found not to be at least 13-years-old. This is not true; the number actually includes accounts deleted for any serious rule-breaking. Furthermore, it does “not include the proactive efforts that actually prevent fake or under age accounts from being created.”
“At Facebook, we take safety very seriously and we were pleased to participate in a hearing in Australia to talk about our safety policies, practices and systems,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “As we explained in the hearing, these efforts include removing numerous accounts everyday for activities including spamming, posting inappropriate content, and violating age restrictions.”