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Social networking, age and privacy

By Sonia Livingstone, Kjartan Ólafsson and Elisabeth Staksrud


Social networking sites (SNS) are popular among European children: 38% of 9-12 year olds and 77% of 13-16 year olds have a profile. Facebook is used by one third of 9-16 year old internet users. Age restrictions are only partially effective, although there are many differences by country and SNS. One in five 9-12 year olds have a Facebook profile, rising to over 4 in 10 in some countries. The report also shows that: • Younger children are more likely than older to have their profile ‘public’. Over a quarter of 9-12 year old SNS users have their profile ‘set to public’. • Parental rules for SNS use, when applied, are partly effective, especially for younger children. • A quarter of SNS users communicate online with people unconnected to their daily lives, including one fifth of 9-12 year old SNS users. • One fifth of children whose profile is public display their address and/or phone number, twice as many as for those with private profiles. • The features designed to protect children from other users if needed are not easily understood, by many younger and some older children

Topics: H Social Sciences (General), QA76 Computer software, T Technology (General)
Publisher: EU Kids Online
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online

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