A quarter of UK children – 750,000 – aged between eight and 12 are using Facebook, Bebo and MySpace despite being younger than the social networks’ recommended user age, according to online information company Garlik.
In a parallel Garlik poll, 72% of parents say they try to protect their children by monitoring their contacts online. Some 26% have even set up their own social networking page to spy on their children’s activities.
Garlik CEO Tom Illube says the results should send a “powerful message” to social messaging sites. “With three quarters of a million underage users in the UK, Facebook, MySpace and Bebo need to take their own age-restriction policies far more seriously to help allay parents’ real fears,” he says.
“With the summer holidays upon us and kids spending hours on the internet, busy parents can’t be expected to monitor their children’s activities all the time,” he added.
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