Sunday, 04 Dec 2022

Adult online age used by third of eight- to 17-year-old social media users

Adult online age used by third of eight- to 17-year-old social media users


Adult online age used by third of eight- to 17-year-old social media users

A third of social media users aged between eight and 17 have the online age of an adult because they sign up with a false date of birth, according to new research.

The fake age issue means that young users in the UK are at greater risk of being exposed to harmful or adult content, as platforms presume they are older than they in fact are.

The majority of children aged between eight and 17 who use social media have their own profile on at least one of the main platforms, according to research commissioned by Ofcom, the communications watchdog.

The regulator added that once a user reaches 16 or 18, some platforms introduce features not available to younger users such as direct messaging or the ability to see adult content.

The most popular site among all eight- to 17-year-olds was YouTube, followed by TikTok and then Instagram. The majority of respondents had set up their account profile themselves.

The online safety bill, which is due to resume its progress through parliament before Christmas, imposes a duty of care to protect children from harmful content. The inquest into the death of Molly Russell, a 14-year-old who took her own life in 2017 after viewing harmful content on platforms including Instagram and Pinterest, found she signed up for an Instagram account at the age of 12.

One expert in internet safety described the study, based on a survey of more than 1,000 young social media users by Yonder Consulting, as a signal from Ofcom to tech firms that it knows where there are flaws in their operations.

you may also like

How Puerto Vallarta is Welcoming Travelers With Open Arms
  • by travelpulse
  • descember 09, 2016
How Puerto Vallarta is Welcoming Travelers With Open Arms

Find out why Puerto Vallarta, Mexico has been named the world's friendliest city.

read more