CHILDREN as young as two are accessing social media, according to a report that warns it can be damaging.
More than 60 per cent of professionals who have dealt with vulnerable children in the past six months are worried about under-fives using social networks, not only because of exposure to inappropriate content but also how it may affect their communication skills.
Half of the 80 practitioners surveyed by Barnardo’s have dealt with five- to ten-year-olds who have been exposed to unsuitable or harmful content, rising to 78 per cent for 11- to 15-year-olds. The report comes after a government white paper proposed strict rules requiring web firms to take responsibility for users and their safety as well as content.
Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said: ‘Although the internet offers incredible opportunities, it also carries serious new risks.’