British children flock to social networks

More than a quarter of eight to 11-year-olds in the UK have a profile on a social network, research shows.Most sites, such as Bebo, MySpace and Facebook, set a minimum age of between 13 and 14 to create a profile but none actively enforce the age requirement.Almost half of all eight to 17-year-olds online have a profile, regulator Ofcom found in a survey of 5,000 adults and over 3,000 children.Ofcom says parents need to learn more about their children’s online lives.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7325019.stmAdult social networking sites attract young users
Millions of children are using social networking websites intended for older users, according to a study by the media regulator, Ofcom.Research into internet use has found that, among children with internet access, more than a quarter of eight to 11-year-olds claimed to have a profile page on a social networking website. This is despite nominal age restrictions aimed at preventing pre-teens from using such sites.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/apr/02/socialnetworking.ofcomSocial sites protect children, says Bebo
Social networking websites are taking their duty to protect younger users more seriously following a sea change in attitudes, according to Bebo’s safety officer.Dr Rachel O’Connell said sites such as Bebo, which attracts users mainly aged between 16 and 24, have been driven to take online safety more seriously by a strong commercial as well as social imperative.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/apr/02/bebo.digitalmediaChildren’s social network pages ‘must have privacy lock’
Two and a half million children aged between 8 and 17 have created profiles on social networking sites, according to research. But parents fail to realise that poor security means that about four in ten personal pages are open for anyone to look at.Although the three main social networks, Bebo, Facebook and MySpace, claim to have a minimum age limit of 13 or 14, a quarter of all children with internet access and aged between 8 and 11 say that they have a page on a social networking site, according to the communications regulator, Ofcom.
http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article3663312.eceuk: Facebook, MySpace to carry 999 link
Facebook and other social networking sites would have to advertise the 999 emergency number on their pages under new Government guidelines to improve the safety of children online.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2008/04/02/dlsafe102.xmluk: Shock report reveals how millions of girls are at risk from paedophiles and bullies online
Parents are alarmingly ignorant of the danger posed to millions of girls by social networking websites, a report reveals.
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