A new survey has found that a number of parents are helping their underage children to sign up on Facebook by assisting them in lying about their age.
According to the survey of 1,007 parents conducted by researchers from academia and Microsoft Research, 36 percent parents were aware that their children joined Facebook before age 13 and a substantial percentage of those parents helped their kids lie about their age in order to join the social networking site.
"55 percent of parents of 12-year-olds report their child has a Facebook account; 82 percent of these parents knew when their underage child signed up and 76 percent assisted in creating the account," Fox News quoted Danah Boyd, the lead author of the survey as saying.
The survey comes at a time of debate in Washington about whether to modify the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or Coppa.
To comply with Coppa, Facebook and many other social networking sites require prospective new members to identify themselves as being 13 of age or older.
The study has been published in the online peer-reviewed journal First Monday.