Warning to UK parents over children ‘being raised online’

British children are spending more than 20 hours a week online, most of it at social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Bebo, and are in effect being “raised online”, according to research from the Institute for Public Policy Research.The research reinforces the belief of big online brands that social networking sites are the way to get advertisers in front of the lucrative youth market. This month AOL snapped up the world’s third largest networking site, Bebo, for $850m (£417m) while Facebook gained a $15bn valuation last year when Microsoft spent $240m on a small stake in the company.

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