General Article Younger children and social networking sites: a blind spot

Topic Selected: Social Media
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Executive summary

‘Now, of course, a free and open Internet is vital. But in no other market and with no other industry do we have such an extraordinarily light touch when it comes to protecting our children. Children can’t go into the shops or the cinema and buy things meant for adults or have adult experiences; we rightly regulate to protect them. But when it comes to the Internet, in the balance between freedom and responsibility we’ve neglected our responsibility to children… So we’ve got to be more active, more aware, more responsible about what happens online. And when I say ‘we’ I mean we collectively: governments, parents, Internet providers and platforms, educators and charities.’

David Cameron, speech on 24 July 2013[1]


‘Many providers ban users under 13 and apply particular technical protection mechanisms and moderated services for minors under 18. However, age restrictions are only partially effective. Fewer younger than older children use social networking sites, ...

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