A minor's ability to contract at face-value is straight forward, any contract with a minor that is not for necessities (food, medicine, clothing, and lodging), and was not approved by the parents/guardian, can be dis-affirmed by the minor as long as its before they become the age of majority.

But how does Facebook handle their agreements with minors?

Facebook, a social networking site that allows minors thirteen years of age or older to use their site without parental supervision (in compliance with COPPA); Facebook receives it's revenue from collecting personal information about its users and targeting the user with ads that might line up with their values or interests. Although Facebook is in compliance with COPPA, it still holds agreements with individuals that have not yet reached the age of majority, and uses their information for things like "testing" and "research".

Can Facebook legally conduct these "research and testing" activities with minors and their accounts if the contracts(TOS) with Facebook's users that aren't the age of majority are considered voidable/unenforceable?


It seems as though Google, YoutTube, and other large tech companies (e.g. tiktok) have been found in violation of COPPA, with this new information can FaceBook conduct their "research and testing" with minors information without violating COPPA.

1 Answer 1


Facebook can continue to gather and exploit data, modulo the requirements of COPPA, because it does not depend on obligating a minor to do something, such as pay money or dig a ditch. In general and because of copyright law, nobody has the right to use anything that Facebook provides unless Facebook grants the user permission. The user has no obligation to provide anything to Facebook – if it did, the minor would arguably be exempt from that obligation.

  • That's an interesting point of view, so you are coming from the point that these are the rules that have to be followed to use the service instead of as a contract between two parties. Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 1:20
  • I've been having trouble on determining is a TOS rules to follow or a contract between a user and a company, although these things seem very close in meaning and online services have blurred the line between them, they have historically been use differently in law. Question about what is a TOS. Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 1:26
  • 1
    In principle a TOS could be a contract, but Facebook's isn't set up that way.
    – user6726
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 1:30
  • Even if the TOS constitutes a contract, it is voidable by the minor, not void from the start. The social media site could continue to act under it until and unless the minor disaffirms and notifies the site. Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 15:13

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