Social Media Age Limits Are Being Ignored - Piranha Digital

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Social Media Age Limits Are Being Ignored

By piranha

9th February 2016

According to a survey undertaken by the BBC’s Newsround, more than three quarters of children aged between 10 and 12 have a social media account, despite being below the required age limit.

This study was based on 1,000 people in the UK, aged between 10 and 18. They found that the majority of those that took part found social media to be an important part of daily life.

96% of the 13-18 year old participants had social media accounts, which included Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp.

In the under 13 group, 78% of the children were using at least one social media platform and Facebook proved the most popular, with 49% claiming to be signed up to the site.

Photo sharing app, Instagram, said that if you suspect any user of being under 13 years old, you should report them. The company suggests that “keeping the community safe” is their “number one priority.”

The results also suggested that more than 1 in 5 children have faced online bullying, an issue that has become increasingly worrying over the past few years.

Today marks this year’s ‘Safer Internet Day’, an event which sees more than 1,000 organisations getting involved to promote safe and responsible use of the internet for children and young people.

Hannah Broadbent, who works at the UK Safer Internet Centre, said; “It’s so important that we show children what other things they can do using digital technology that are engaging, creative and age-appropriate. It’s about showing them what else it could be and inspiring them with that.”

Google is one of the many companies that are getting involved to raise awareness. They have launched an online safety roadshow which is specifically aimed at primary school pupils.

At the moment, it is relatively easy for young people to set up a social media account, even if they are below the minimum age. All they need to do is choose a date of birth that makes them old enough to use the site.

The results of the survey highlight the need for stricter verification, although not much has been done in this area so far.

Do you think that tighter age restrictions are needed on social media? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook!

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