Facebook should allow under-13s says Mark Zuckerberg

By Dan Whitworth
Newsbeat technology reporter

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Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he wants the social networking site to let children under the age of 13 use it.

At the moment that age limit is dictated by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act which was made Federal Law in America in 1998.

But Zuckerberg says he's willing to fight to change the law.

He says it's a battle worth taking on because of the educational benefits of using the site.

"That will be a fight we take on at some point.

"My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age.

"Because of the [legal] restrictions we haven't even begun this learning process.

"If they're lifted then we'd start to learn what works."

Privacy worries

He was speaking at a recent summit on innovation in schools in California and admitted that finding ways to improve education is one of his passions.

There are concerns though about how young is too young for children to be using Facebook.

Critics say privacy worries and the threat of online bullying mean a lower age limit should stay in place.

As long as that stays the case, a spokesperson for Facebook told Newsbeat the site has "extensive safety and privacy controls based on the age provided.

"However, recent reports have highlighted just how difficult it is to implement age restrictions on the internet and that there is no single solution to ensuring younger children don't circumvent a system, or lie about their age".

Despite those efforts, one estimate from America's Consumer Reports claims seven and a half million of Facebook's 600 million users are under 13.