Survey Shows More Than Half Of Kids Lie About Age To Join Facebook, Twitter

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A view of and Apple iPhone displaying the Facebook app's splash screen May 10, 2012 in Washington, DC. Social-networking giant Facebook will go public on the NASDAQ May 18 with its initial public offering, trading under the symbol FB, in an effort to raise $10.6 billion. (Brenden Smialowski/AFP/GettyImages)

A view of and Apple iPhone displaying the Facebook app’s splash screen. (Brenden Smialowski/AFP/GettyImages)

MENLO PARK (CBS SF) – Age limits on Facebook and other social sites aren’t working to keep young children off away from the Internet properties, according to a newly-released survey.

Knowthenet – a non-profit funded group that tracks Internet behavior – conducted a survey of parents and 8-16 year olds in the U.K. and found that 52 percent of children admitted they had ignored the site’s age limit.

The stated age limit to join Facebook is 13.

The study also found that kids were engaging in potentially risky behavior after joining social sites with more than a fifth posting nasty comments and an even larger number admitting to taking over another person’s account without permission.

Researchers found that behavior evolves quickly between age 9 and 11, with that latter being the most common age to first post a photo or a nasty comment. Twitter use becomes more common around age 12, according to Kowthnet. Twitter says their site is not intended for people under 13.

The full report lays out the common timeline for a child’s online development and offers tips for parents on how to communicate about the subject.

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