SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 19: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg looks on before the start of a town hall style meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at Facebook headquarters on April 20, 2011 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
However, the social network chief said that's not the case at all. In Paris, he spoke at the EG8 summit (according to PaidContent):
“That’s not what I said . . . The current regulations make it difficult for people aged under 13 to use Facebook. In the U.S., a parent has to either fax in a signature or have a credit card and verify they want their child to sign up.
“So we just haven’t gone there yet. We haven’t tried to figure our how to make a service that’s accessible to people under 13. We’re doing a lot of things right now ... but we’re not trying to work on the ability for people under 13 to sign up.
“In the future, it makes sense to explore that. We would need to try to figure out a lot of ways to make sure they are safe. That’s extremely important. That’s not on the top of the list for things for us to figure out right now.”
AllThingsD calls it "backpedaling" and PaidContent calls it failing "to dig himself out of a hole." Perhaps, but at least one reporter says that on the day he made the initial remarks about kids being on Facebook Zuckerberg was "uncharacteristically unguarded," CNN wrote.
Can't we just say that Zuckerberg said a lot of stuff to kids that day in Burlingame, none of which he thought was controversial? (However it is because the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act makes 13 the age of Internet consent.) He made a political mistake, but Zuckerberg is no politician. So perhaps it is backpedaling a little, but he's used to being a visionary where speaking about big pictures and ideas is not taken so literally.