Turning thirteen is a significant event. It comes with a new batch of rights — as a proud tween, you can watch Dumb and Dumber without parents, make fun of twelve-year-olds, and, if you're of the Jewish variety, call yourself a man or woman. Perhaps most importantly, turning thirteen also means becoming an eligible Facebook user, as per the social network's policy — a policy that's hardily laughed at by the 5 million children under the age of ten who've already invaded your Facebook news feed.
According to a new Consumer Reports finding, there are 7.5 million kids under the age of thirteen on Facebook, and the majority of these early adopters weren't even alive before 2001. This poses obvious problems. "One million children were harassed, threatened, or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on the site in the past year," the magazine reports.
A Consumer Reports technology editor's solution to the problem (other than more watchful parenting)? Requiring credit-card information upon account creation. That's a shaky idea, as Gawker's Adrian Chen points out: "Yes, let's give Mark Zuckerberg all our credit card information, since he is perfectly trustworthy when it comes to personal data." But then again, maybe that's better than trusting the Zuck with millions and millions of children.