Facebook has revealed that about 20,000 children are kicked off the social networking site every day for lying about their age. Despite efforts to enforce the age limit policy, many underage children join the site by pretending to be older than they are.

Mozelle Thompson, Facebook’s chief privacy adviser, told the Australian Federal Parliament’s cyber-safety committee: “There are people who lie. There are people who are under 13 accessing Facebook. Facebook removes 20,000 people a day, people who are underage.” He adds that dealing with underage users is something the site works on “all the time”.

It is clearly stated in Facebook’s privacy policy:

No information from children under age 13. If you are under age 13, please do not attempt to register for Facebook or provide any personal information about yourself to us. If we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that we might have any information from a child under age 13, please contact us through this help page.

Parental participation. We strongly recommend that minors 13 years of age or older ask their parents for permission before sending any information about themselves to anyone over the Internet and we encourage parents to teach their children about safe internet use practices. Materials to help parents talk to their children about safe internet use can be found on this help page.

While admitting that Facebook’s mechanism to detect this is not perfect, Thompson said that the social networking site would soon be hiring a cybersafety expert to be based in Australia to deal with local complaints and issues.