Ofcom Finds Kids Sneaking Around Social Networks

Too young and generally unsupervised

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[ Social Media]

Social networks are practically crawling with kids, according to a new report from the UK’s Office of Communications.  What’s more: the children are often on them in violation of the networks’ rules, and their parents pay little attention.

Ofcom Report
 49% Of UK Children (8-17) Have A Social Networking Profile

"Despite the fact that the minimum age for most major social networking sites is usually 13 (14 on MySpace), 27% of 8-11 year olds who are aware of social networking sites say that they have a profile on a site," states Ofcom.  "[A]lmost half (49%) of children aged 8-17 who use the internet have set up their own profile on a social networking site."

Then, "Two-thirds of parents claim to set rules on their child’s use of social networking sites, although only 53% of children said that their parents set such rules."  Neither of these numbers are especially high, and the discrepancy between them suggests that some kids aren’t being held back in any way.

On the (potentially) bright side, it seems like the UK is preparing to do something about these problems.  Ofcom’s report comes less than a week after the Byron Review‘s release; both have received a fair amount of coverage, and focus more on issues of education than regulation.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Bebo, Facebook, and MySpace took independent action in response to all the attention.

Ofcom Finds Kids Sneaking Around Social Networks
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  • Guest

    Hi I belong to a site called Daily strength. The rules say that no one under 14 can join and their discalimers are loud and clear.

    I belong to the ‘depression’ part of this huge site. It is very clear that that allow anyone who ‘say’s they are 14 toparticipate. One 13 year old I have known for months. She recently made a suicide attempt, confirmed by her mother.

    This child has noe ‘developed’ MPD’s, she learns fast.

    What can be done when she has written her true age of 13 and no one on the site does a thing about it? She now is saying she is 14 beacuse she got such abhorent abuse from much older people?


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