Quarter of UK children flaunt age limits on social networks

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.

These children are using social networks even though Facebook and Bebo set a minimum age limit of 13, and MySpace of 14. In addition, a quarter of eight- to 15-year-olds have strangers as friends on the social networking page and almost as many – a fifth – claim they have arranged meetings with strangers encountered online.

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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Published by Reinout te Brake

Reinout is a games investor and strategic business consultant specializing in the games industry. Reinout established his credentials through his own successful investments, start-ups, consulting and (advisory) board positions that led through time to strong bonds with key stakeholders in this fast paced industry. He is known for his outstanding results in the gaming industry. He has worked with many game studios around the globe and is therefore well known in the international gaming industry. Check out his games podcast; https://www.game-consultant.com

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