More parents help kids cheat Facebook age rules

By Patricia Reaney
Reuters
May 9, 2011
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42957561/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets

Despite age restrictions on some social media sites, the number of U.S. parents who would allow children 10-12 years old to have a Facebook or MySpace account has doubled in a year, a new survey showed.

Seventeen percent of U.S. parents questioned in the poll said they had no problem with a pre-teen child using a social media site, compared to just eight percent a year ago.

And 11 percent of parents admitted to using social media sites on behalf of a young child or infant, according to the online survey of about 1,000 adults by Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility Project. (Facebook terms state that users must be at least 13.)

“More and more parents are allowing their children to have a Facebook account or to have more online activity at younger and younger ages.” said Janet Taylor.

The clinical instructor of psychiatry at Columbia University at Hospital in New York described the findings as a sign of the times.

“It’s not alarming. I think it means we need to be aware of what is going on and how to best utilize social media,” she added in an interview.

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