Tech firms must act now to pro­tect kids


SO­CIAL me­dia com­pa­nies need to act now to pro­tect chil­dren af­ter Barnardo’s re­vealed more than half of 12- year- olds have posted live videos on apps and web­sites meant for older chil­dren and adults.

A sur­vey by YouGov found that 57 per cent of 12- year- olds and more than one in four chil­dren aged 10 ( 28 per cent) in the UK have ad­mit­ted live stream­ing con­tent over the in­ter­net.

The re­sults sug­gest thou­sands of younger chil­dren may be putting them­selves at risk by shar­ing live videos on sites with a min­i­mum age limit of 13.

Ur­gent ac­tion is needed be­cause we know from our spe­cial­ist ser­vices across the UK that chil­dren are at risk of ‘ live groom­ing’ on on­line plat­forms.

Tech com­pa­nies are sim­ply not do­ing enough to keep chil­dren safe. Our re­search shows that chil­dren use livestream­ing apps that are not ap­pro­pri­ate for their ages so tech gi­ants need to en­sure they put ro­bust age- ver­i­fi­ca­tion rules in place.

Theresa May vowed to make the UK the safest place in the world to be on­line, but new laws are not ex­pected for at least two years and this is sim­ply not good enough for the chil­dren who need pro­tect­ing now. Hugh Sher­riffe, Di­rec­tor Barnardo’s Mid­lands & South West

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