Study: One in five EU kids aged 9-12 are on Facebook

EuKidsOnline SNS by country April 2011

A new report (PDF) from the EU Kids Online at the London School of Economics finds that age restrictions designed to keep young children off social networking sites are not particularly effective. The survey polled some 25,000 young people across Europe and found that, on average, 38 percent of respondents aged 9 through 12 use social networking sites, and one in five has a profile on Facebook. In some countries, the proportions are higher: for instance, 38 percent of British children surveyed aged 9 through 12 have a profile on Facebook. The study also found that over than a quarter of those 9-12 year-olds have their profiles set to fully public, so they are viewable by anyone in the world.

“It seems clear that children are moving to Facebook&mdash,this is now the most popular site in 17 of the 25 countries we surveyed,” said EUKidsOnline director Sonia Livingstone, professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, in a statement. “Many providers try to restrict their users to 13-year-olds and above but we can see that this is not effective.”

Averaged across all 25 European countries included in the survey, children aged 9 to 16 indicated a strong gravitation towards Facebook, with 57 percent of respondents using Facebook as their primary or sole social networking site. However, there were significant variations by country: in Poland, for instance, only two percent of respondents considered Facebook the center of their social networking universe. In Cyprus, however, the figure was 98 percent.

The survey also found that roughly one in six 9 to 12-year olds has 100 or more online contacts, and about one in five 9 to 12 year olds using social networking services have contact with people who have no connection whatsoever to their offline lives. And among those underage users who have their profile set to “public?” ABout one in five have their address and/or phone number out there for the world to see—and twice as many include that information in private profiles visible only to friends.

The study concludes that age restrictions and parental controls for controlling access to social networking sites are ineffective, and that features designed to protect children’s online privacy are not readily understood by young children, or even many older children.

Elisabeth Stroud from the University of Oslo, one of the report’s authors, suggests that age restrictions are merely driving childrens’ social networking use underground, and that a practical solution might be to remove age restrictions and create tools that children can use. “Since children often lie about their age to join ‘forbidden’ sites it would be more practical to identify younger users and to target them with easy-to-use protective measures,” Stoud said in a statement. “However, we accept that abolishing age limits could lead to a substantial rise in the numbers using the sites.”

Features

Exclusive: The Surface Hub 2S will revolutionize work. Here’s how it was made

Exclusive interviews with the designers, futurists, and visionaries behind the Surface Hub 2 paint a dramatic picture of how Microsoft thinks collaboration will change your office.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

Skip the flowers and sunshine this spring and watch the best shows on Hulu

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Product Review

You won't buy Microsoft's Surface Hub 2S, but it could still change your life

The Microsoft Surface Hub 2S wants to change the way you collaborate at work. That’s a lofty goal most devices fail to achieve, but the unique Hub 2S could be an exception. And trust us – you’re going to want it.
Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Computing

Meet the mastermind behind Microsoft's massive new Surface Hub

Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay gives us an exclusive peek at the 85-inch Surface Hub 2, and explains how innovation and collaboration will transform your workplace.
Computing

Microsoft reveals details of Surface Hub 2S, coming in June at $9,000

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.
Computing

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.
Gaming

Learn to uninstall a Steam game and clear some space on your PC

Looking to learn how to uninstall Steam games? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we walk you through the process step by step, whether you want Steam to do it for you or handle the process manually.
Deals

Amazon strikes $100 off the price of Microsoft Surface Go tablets

If you've been eyeing Microsoft's Surface Go for its compact size and portability, now may be a great time to buy the tablet. Amazon has a $100 discount on the Surface Go, bringing the price of this slate down to just under $400.
Photography

Sweet 16: Wacom’s Cintiq 16 pen display makes retouching photos a breeze

Wacom’s Cintiq pen displays are usually reserved for the pros (or wealthy enthusiasts), but the new Cintiq 16 brings screen and stylus editing to an approachable price. Does it cut too much to get there?
Computing

Mueller report releases on CD, forces Congress to find PCs with disc drives

The Mueller report was released this week to Congress via CDs and congressional members had to find PCs with working disc drives to access the 400-page document. The redacted report was also released to the public on a website.