Facebook considers opening site to children under 13

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Though Facebook bans children under 13, millions of them have profiles on the site by lying about their age.

Now, the company is testing out ways to allow younger kids on its site without needing to lie. It would be under parental supervision, such as by connecting children's accounts to their parents' accounts. That would allow Facebook to comply with federal regulations regarding children under 13 online.

In a statement, Facebook says it is in ongoing dialogue with stakeholders, regulators and other policymakers about how best to help parents keep their kids safe online.

FOX19 reached out to parents with children on Facebook, a very popular site among teens and tweens in the Tri-state.

Computer programmer Dave Hatter has four kids, three of which use the Internet and are on Facebook.

"We let our kids know, we're going to go on and look at this whenever we want to, so you best be thinking about the kind of stuff you're posting out there if you want to keep doing this," says Hatter.

Hatter also warns his children whatever is posted online becomes a permanent part of the Internet.

"I think it's a step in the right direction. I think it makes sense from Facebook's perspective and it's probably better in the long run for kids that there is some sort of more accountable way to track who is on there and what they're doing," says Hatter.

Parents like Charlotte McConnell are worried about children's safety online.

"I'm kind of leery about that. I don't know if I like that or not because everybody else is seeing it and like I said nowadays you can't trust too many people," says McConnell.

Copyright 2012 WXIX & The Associated Press 2012. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.