In theory, Facebook's terms of service forbid children under the age of 13 from using its platform. In practice, children ignore this rule and lie about their ages to sign up for Facebook anyway, often with the full permission of their parents.
Given the prevalence of smartphone use in the toddler demographic, this was bound to happen, right?
In all seriousness, it does make sense for Facebook to at least consider changing the 13-and-under policy, since as many as 38 percent of the children currently using the social network are under the age of 13 anyway. A more organized effort to at least offer the opportunity to monitor the Facebook activity of these children definitely wouldn't be a bad thing.
It also feels a little filthy. As if children weren't already bombarded with advertising messages from infancy, letting them use an "age-appropriate" version of Facebook opens the social network to a completely new demographic advertisers would pay top dollar to reach. Not bad for shareholders...but could we say the same for children's minds?
What do you think — should Facebook open up its service to children under the age of 12? Would you let your child use it?