"YPRT - Youth Protection Roundtable" was a project of the Digital Opportunities Foundation in 2006 - 2009.
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Ofcom Research: Social Networking

A quantitative and qualitative research report into attitudes, behaviours and use

Ofcom has been observing the rapid growth of social networking over the last two to three years. The survey on this topic reveals that children swarm to social networking sites which are indicative of its entry into mainstream culture and its integration into the daily lives of especially young people. Furthermore, there has been substantial media coverage of the growth of social networking, its potential positive outcomes and concerns about the way that some people are using it. The research focused on social and communications aspects of social networking sites.

Ofcoms research reveals, that more than a quarter of eight to 11-year-olds who are online in the UK have a profile on a social network. Most social networking platforms, such as Bebo, MySpace and Facebook, set a minimum age of 13 or 14 years to create a profile but none of them actively enforces the age limit. Ofcom's study exposed, that 49 percent of children 8-17 years old have an online profile and even 59 percent of them use social networks to make new friends. Concerning is, that 16 percent of the parents do not even know if their child's profile is visible to all. One third of the parents say they set no rules for their children's use of social networks, but 43 percent of the children say their parents set no rules for use of social networks.

Please find the complete research under www.ofcom.org.uk

Available on the website since April 03, 2008