More Than 80% of Children Lie About Their Age to Use Social Media Sites

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Wednesday, October 15, 2014

More Than 80% of Children Lie About Their Age to Use Social Media Sites

*The following is excerpted from an online article from The Guardian.

A United Kingdom advertising watchdog has found that more than 80% of children lie about their age when using social media.

The group,  Advertising Standards Authority, conducted a survey of UK children to assess what kind of ads young people see and whether companies are sticking to the UK advertising code. The survey found that 83% of the 11 to 15 year olds whose internet usage was monitored registered on a social media site with a false age.

Just over 40% of the children signed in stating they were over 18 years of age.

While the report found that advertisers were accurately targeting their ads many children were seeing inappropriate content – such as ads for gambling, alcohol, slimming aids and overtly sexual dating services – because they were lying about their age.

The ASA said that the report "clearly asks questions" of social media owners such as Facebook, which it believes knows that young users are using false ages to log in.

"We will be raising these issues with social media companies," said Guy Parker, chief executive of the ASA. "If advertisers and social media companies know that children say they're older than they are don't they have a crucial part to play?"

"We all need to be part of this conversation about how best to set the boundaries within which our children explore the world around them," he added.

Source: The Guardian