Ofcom, the British communications regulator, has released their annual Children’s Media Literacy Audit, which provides an overview of media literacy among children and young people and their parents and carers. The March 2010 report found that a quarter of U.K. children aged 8-12 who use the internet at home say they have a profile on Facebook, Bebo or MySpace, in spite of the fact that these sites have a minimum user age of 13. The report also includes internet audience data which showed that amongst 5-7 year old home internet users, 37% visited Facebook in October 2009 (but did not necessarily have a profile).
Of those under 13 who have Facebook profiles, 83% have their profile set so that it can only be seen by friends. 93% of parents of these children who are aware that their child visits social networking sites say that they check what their child is doing on these types of sites. However, 17% of the parents of this group are not aware that their child visits social networking sites.
d=”_mcePaste”>38% of users of social networking sites aged 8-11 and 40% of those aged 12-15 also believe that all or most of the information on these sites is true. (And: 27% of those aged 12-15 who use search engines think that search engines only return results from websites with truthful information.
Click here to read the Ofcom press release and for links to the full report.