Risky Social Networking Practices Among “Underage” Users: Lessons for Evidence-Based Policy

Authors


Correspondence:

email:s.livingstone@lse.ac.uk.

Abstract

European self-regulation to ensure children's safety on social networking sites requires that providers ensure children are old enough to use the sites, aware of safety messages, empowered by privacy settings, discouraged from disclosing personal information, and supported by easy to use reporting mechanisms. This article assesses the regulatory framework with findings from a survey of over 25000 9- to 16-year-olds from 25 European countries. These reveal many underage children users, and many who lack the digital skills to use social networking sites safely. Despite concerns that children defy parental mediation, many comply with parental rules regarding social networking. The implications of the findings are related to policy decisions on lower age limits and self-regulation of social networking sites.

Ancillary