Web sites are not allowed to collect information on users under 13 without their parents' permission.
It's part of a child-privacy law called COPPA.
This is trouble for Facebook because of "like" buttons, which are on about 9 million Websites.
You can image how hard it would be for Facebook to make sure that everyone who clicks a like button is over 13.
Really hard. Even a little added friction, such as a "are you 13 and over?" dialogue box would tremendously slow down volume.
So that's why Facebook sent a 20-page letter to the FTC (.PDF), last week, arguing (begging?) for a change in this rule. Facebook argued that Like buttons are free speech.
The rule should change.
How is the fact that a kid clicked "like" any kind of threat to their safety or privacy?
But sometimes the government does stupid things, so maybe the law won't change.
That'd be pretty bad news for Facebook, which is dependent on all those "likes" for a lot of traffic and engagement.
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