Many parents know that their underage children are on Facebook in violation of the site’s restrictions and are often complicit in helping their children join the site, according to a study led by Danah Boyd, a research assistant professor at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
The findings, which appeared in First Monday, a peer-reviewed online journal, coincide with a federal review of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). COPPA mandates that web sites obtain “verifiable parental consent” before collecting information on children under 13. Facebook has a minimum age requirement of 13.
The national survey, conducted in July 2011, included 1,007 U.S. parents who have children living with them between the ages of 10 and 14. Among its findings were the following:
Boyd is a faculty member in Steinhardt’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication and a senior researcher at Microsoft Research, which supported the project. The study’s other authors included: Eszter Hargittai of Northwestern University, Jason Schultz of the University of California, Berkeley, and John Palfrey of Harvard University.