Facebook's ugly little secret

In all of its filings and public statements the social network has failed to acknowledge its growing user-base of underage children. The company's efforts to deter kids from joining the site might not be working, but its effort to advertise to them obviously are.

Facebook has an ugly little secret, a number disclosed nowhere in its voluminous filings to become a public company and now only vaguely addressed by corporate officials.

An estimated 5.6 million Facebook clients - about 3.5 per cent of its US users - are children who the company says are banned from the site.

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