In the UK, a large proportion of children lie about their age to gain access to social networks

One in three UK children who use social media lie about their age and even pretend to be an adult to gain access. This is revealed by a new study by Ofcom, the telecommunications regulator in Great Britain. This study focused on the most well-known social networks, namely Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and Twitter, reports The Guardian .

Bypass the age limit

More than 1,000 accounts from users aged 8 to 17 were scrutinized by the British organisation. And the results are surprising. According to the Ofcom survey, almost half of children aged 8 to 15 say they are over 16. Additionally, 32% of 8-17 year olds lie about their age when signing up and claim to be of legal age.

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Why lie? This allows children to bypass the legal age requirement to register on these platforms. If you need to be at least 16 years old to access TikTok, 13 years old is enough to access Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube. However, YouTube offers an alternative for those under 13 with YouTube Kids, its platform dedicated to children.

“Tragic Consequences”

In detail, Ofcom’s research reveals that 39% of children aged 8 to 12 with a social media account have a registered age of at least 16. Social network providers are highlighted. According to an Ofcom spokesman interviewed by the British media, they are “unable to control their platform’s ability to connect [les] children with disturbing and harmful content”.

A lack of vigilance which can lead to “tragic consequences” depending on the organization. “When a child self-declares a false age to access a social network or online game, as they get older, their stated age also increases. This means they are more likely to encounter age-inappropriate or harmful content online. “he assured in the columns i Guardian.

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