Does Anyone Read Facebook's Fine Print?

Some 1,071 media outlets have stories about First Lady Michelle Obama saying she didn't want her kids to have Facebook accounts -- either without mentioning or burying the fact that the site says, "You will not use Facebook if you are under 13" in the official statement of rights and responsibilities.

Some 1,071 media outlets have stories about First Lady Michelle Obama saying she didn’t want her kids to have Facebook accounts — either without mentioning or burying the fact that the site says, “You will not use Facebook if you are under 13” in the official statement of rights and responsibilities.

Neither of the daughters has reached the tender age of 13 yet. Nine-year-old Sasha Obama would probably find a child-focused social network more interesting, and 12-year-old Malia would likely enjoy one of the sites geared toward her age group.

We initially considered the the First Lady’s statement on Facebook a non-story, but the amount of attention her words got has made us wonder whether the age minimum is the tip of the iceberg. Have all the social network’s printed rules gone unread by the vast majority of people who use the site? Just imagine how much differently the public would view security on Facebook if everyone took the time to read the fine print.

Readers, what do you think about how this non-story has proliferated without any reference to Facebook’s own rules for who can use the site? What does this say about how well people know how to use the social network? And if you find any news stories or blog posts that include the minimum age requirement, please share links in the comment section.

Image courtesy of Reuters.