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Facebook deletes ‘thousands of U13 accounts a day’

This wouldn’t be a bad media literacy lesson! I had to click from CNN to Fast Company to AllFacebook.com to get to the original coverage in Australia’s Daily Telegraph, which reported that “about 20,000 children are kicked off Facebook every day for lying about their age” (language that oddly suggests punishment). The Daily Telegraph was basing its lede on a statement made by Facebook adviser and former US Federal Trade Commissioner Mozelle Thompson on a panel before the Australian Parliament’s Cyber-Safety Committee. What Mr. Thompson actually said, according to both the Daily Telegraph and PC Magazine was that “Facebook removes 20,000 people a day, people who are underage.” The site later clarified that, saying “those 20,000 removals cover a variety of policy violations, including spam, inappropriate content, and underage use,” PC Magazine reports. Facebook’s Terms of Service have a minimum age of 13 for anyone setting up an account, and the site does disable or block thousands of under-age accounts a day, its chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, told the New York Times. The Pew Internet & American Life Project reported about a year ago that 82% of US 14-to-17-year-olds use social network sites The percentages for younger users were 62% of US 13-year-olds and 46% of 12-year-olds.

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  1. Jan Doggen #

    “This wouldn’t be a bad media literacy lesson”
    Indeed. This happens so often: a site quotes a site that quotes a site etc. Everybody changes the text a bit, with the best of intentions (they want to add something personal, have a different emphasis, don’t want to ‘just quote’ which would look like lazy work) and in the end the factual content is diluted or distorted.
    Not too bad if you can follow back to the original source (not always possible) and have the tenacity to dig deeper, but only a small percentage of the readers will do that.
    Case in point: how many actual figures/measurements are quoted in posts about the radiation from the Japanese reactors? It’s hard to find these!

    March 24, 2011

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