NSPCC: Social sites' 'blind eye'

Social networking sites should not "turn a blind eye" to the children who use them, the NSPCC said. The charity found almost a quarter of 11 and 12-year-olds have been upset after interacting using social media.

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Sites 'can't turn a blind eye' to dangers to child users

The NSPCC is calling for social media sites to do more to make their online platforms safer for the millions of children who use them by bypassing the age restrictions. Claire Lilley, NSPCC's head of child safety, said the risks to 11 and 12-year-olds need to be evaluated by the companies.

There is a significant jump in the numbers of children who have a social networking profile at age 11 - which coincides with the move to secondary school for most UK children

We estimate that around half of the UK's 11 and 12-year-olds have a profile on a social networking site with a minimum age of 13.

Age verification is a nut that social networking sites are yet to crack.

We want social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to take a pragmatic approach - if younger children are determined to use social networking sites for over 13 year-olds, the sites can't simply turn a blind eye.

Sites 'need to urgently take child safety more seriously'

BeatBullying has backed calls from the NSPCC for social media sites to do more to protect their young users.

BeatBullying said social media sites need to put some money into protecting their users. Credit: PA Archive

BeatBullying founder Emma-Jane Cross said:

"This research underlines the urgent need for social networking sites to take their young users' safety much more seriously.

"We believe in the right of children to go online without fear of being bullied or harassed, and this cannot be achieved until social networks put adequate resources behind safeguarding and user verification policies."

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Calls for social sites to acknowledge child users

The NSPCC are calling for social media sites to acknowledge that many of their users are under the age of 18, in order to do more to safeguard their child users.

The comments come as new research by the children's charity found that around half of the UK's 11 and 12-year-old regularly use social media, and of these, a quarter said they had been upset by something on it.

Quarter of children 'upset after social media incident'

A quarter of children aged between 11 and 12 who use social media have been upset by something on it over the past year, new research from the NSPCC has revealed.

Of the quarter upset by something on social media, 18% felt scared or upset for weeks to come. Credit: PA Archive

A poll of more than 1,000 youngsters also found that a fifth of children who had been upset by an online incident such as trolling, bullying or being sent inappropriate sexual messages, experienced this every day or almost every day.

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