Parents can ask Facebook to delete accounts of children younger than 13.

Can Parents Shut Down Facebook for an Underage Child?

by Candice Coleman

Facebook can give children the opportunity to connect with friends outside of class or meet new people from afar. It can also leave parents concerned about safety and privacy. Whether or not parents can delete a child's Facebook account, they can take steps to secure a child's safety while using any social networking site.

1. Facebook Deletion Policy

When it comes to getting rid of your underage child's Facebook account, you may find some roadblocks in the way. In the United States, parents can only request that a Facebook representative delete accounts for children ages 12 and younger. If you reside in South Korea or Spain, you can request the deletion of an account if the child is 13 and younger. Parents will need to complete a "Report an Underage Child" form, including information like a link to the child's Facebook profile.

2. Deleting Accounts Manually

If your child is too old for Facebook to delete the account, you may be able to convince them to delete their Facebook account manually. Children can visit Facebook's "Delete My Account" page to permanently delete an account. If you think your child may be ready to use Facebook again in the future, have them deactivate the account instead. Your child can select "Account Settings," before selecting "Security." Clicking "Deactive your account" will keep anyone from seeing your child's profile. When your child logs in to the account again, it will reactivate and the profile will be visible to other users again.

3. Privacy

Privacy concerns can make parents uncomfortable when it comes to Facebook. If deleting your child's account is not an option, you may still be able to keep images, video and other content depicting your child off of the social network. If someone has posted content of your child, and your child is younger than 13, fill out Facebook's "Report a Privacy Rights Violation" form. A Facebook representative will review your report and remove any content that violates your child's privacy rights.

4. Additional Information

If attempts to delete your child's Facebook account are unsuccessful, encourage them to use the site responsibly. Users should avoid posting any personal details about their lives, such as where they go to school or work. Keeping passwords secret and only chatting with those they know in person can also go a long way toward keeping your child safe.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images