Houston: Social networking site Facebook removes about 20,000 profiles from the site every day for various infractions, including spam, inappropriate content and underage use, as part of its efforts to boost cyber security.
Facebook chief privacy advisor Mozelle Thompson appeared before the Australian Parliament's cyber-safety committee on Monday to discuss Internet-related security issues.
Representatives from Microsoft and Yahoo were also on the panel. Thompson's appearance made headlines when he was quoted in the Daily Telegraph as saying that Facebook "removes 20,000 people a day, people who are underage."
In a statement, Facebook said those 20,000 removals cover a variety of policy violations, including spam, inappropriate content and underage use.
Facebook users must be at least 13 years old. "At Facebook, we take safety very seriously and we were pleased to participate in a hearing in Australia to talk about our safety policies, practices and systems," the company said.
"As we explained in the hearing, these efforts include removing numerous accounts everyday for activities including spamming, posting inappropriate content, and violating age restrictions."
The 20,000 number does "not include the proactive efforts that actually prevent fake or under age accounts from being created," Facebook said.
"There are people who lie. There are people who are under 13 [accessing Facebook]," Thompson told Federal Parliament's cyber-safety committee.
Although the company requires its users to be at least 13-years-old, the limit is easily circumvented, like on pretty much any website on the Internet.
"While the social network has mechanisms to detect liars," Thompson admitted that "It s not perfect".