Notts kids ‘unprotected’ using social media

Peter Wanless
Peter Wanless

Four out of five children feel social media companies aren’t doing enough to protect them from pornography, self-harm, bullying and hatred, according to new research.

Out of the 1,696 children and young people surveyed NSPCC and O2, 1,380 said social media sites needed to do more to protect them from inappropriate or harmful content.

The findings were revealed in the latest Net Aware guide, the UK’s only parents’ guide to 39 of the most popular social media sites, apps, and games used by young people, produced by the NSPCC in partnership with O2.

When polled children rated ASKfm, Omegle, IMVU, and Facebook as some of the most risky sites, prompting the NSPCC and O2 to urge parents to look beyond the “big names” and find out about the lesser known apps their children are using.

Net Aware is the go to guide for parents of the most popular social media sites, apps, and games used by young people, keeping them up to date with the latest reviews, news, and warnings relating to their child’s online world. O2 Guru tips are included, which shows parents exactly how to help their child block or report someone who is targeting them.

Pokemon Go, Periscope, IMVU, and Live.ly are amongst the new apps to be featured on Net Aware, along with the more well-known sites including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.

Despite the risks that many children reported, 87 per cent of young people surveyed said they knew how to keep themselves safe online. The NSPCC and O2 encouraged parents to visit Net Aware so that they could stay up to speed with apps and their safety issues so that they could help their child protect themselves online.

NSPCC CEO Peter Wanless said: “Social media is a great way for young people to stay in touch with their friends but our research clearly shows that children do not feel that they are shielded from upsetting, dangerous, and adult content. It’s vital parents know about their child’s online world and regularly talk with their children about how to get help if they need it.

“We all know that the internet develops at breakneck speed and it can feel nearly impossible to keep up with all of the constantly changing sites, games, and apps that young people use.

“Net Aware does all the work for parents by updating them with information, risks, and issues on sites their children are using.”