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Majority of 10-12-year-olds in the UK are on social media

MUMBAI: 78 per cent of 10-to-12-year-olds in the UK say that they have social media accounts, despite recommended minimum age limits on platforms like Facebook and Snapchat, according to a new survey of over 1,000 10-to-18-year-olds, conducted by ComRes.

BBC’ show ‘Newsround’ commissioned the report to coincide with Safer Internet Day 2016 (9 February 2016) which shows that children are using social media – even though rules for many networks advise that they should be 13.

Nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of those aged between 10 and 12, with a social media account, also revealed they have been bullied or trolled online; more than a third (37 per cent) admitted they had made friends online with people they have never met in person.

More than 1,000 UK 10-to-18-year-olds were interviewed for the poll. It highlighted that nearly half (49 per cent) of 10-12 say they have a Facebook account, while around 40 per cent of 10-to-12-year-olds said they had an account on Instagram. Over a third were users of Whatsapp (38 per cent) and more than a quarter of them say they use Snapchat (28 per cent).

When it comes to bullying and trolling online, nearly half (47 per cent) of all the 10-to-18-year-olds with a social media account who took part in the poll said that social media companies don’t take bullying seriously enough.

Despite these findings most children also reported positive experiences on social media: 71 per cent of 10-to-12-year-olds on social media said they felt ‘happy’ when they used it and 76 per cent said it was important to them.

BBC Newsround’s deputy editor Georgina Bowman said, “We commissioned the survey as we know this is an important issue which affects a lot of our audience. We also wanted to investigate how much 10-12-year-olds were using social media, despite the age restrictions placed by social media companies. The survey is part of broader coverage of Safer Internet Day on CBBC.”