The Increasing Usage Of Social Media Needs Firm Laws And Regulation, Says Ofcom Report

People are spending more and more time online which also requires strict regulations, found out a study, consisting of 1,001 children and 1,057 over the age of 16 years.

Ofcom and the Information Commissioner conducted a study which revealed that, in 2018, an average British adult spends three and a quarter hours online per day, showing an increase of 52% since 2017.

79% of the children part of the study said they had a harmful experience online at least once in a year.

Yih-Choung Teh of Ofcom said that with the increasing time spent online, it is most likely to see a potentially harmful content online. Majority of the people have more disadvantages of the internet than advantages.

One of the plus points of the internet is that people are realizing the significance of freedom of speech, added Teh.

According to the study, 51% of the children between the ages of 12 to 15 years are affected by online bullying.

According to the response of young kids who were part of the survey, self-destructive and suicidal content found online is the second biggest issue. Governments have asked the online social platforms to control and regulate the harmful content available on their platforms.

In 2017, a 14 years old kid, Molly Russell attempted suicide and according to her father, Instagram prompted this idea.

NSPCC’s head of child safety online, Tony Stower, while commenting on the report said that it was obvious that more strict rules and regulations need to be implemented to ensure the security of children online.

Stower pleaded the government to immediately bring firm rules for the safety of children online, which social platforms have failed to provide.

The study also found out that:

Every year there is an increase of 7% in the time people spend online.

Children encountered harmful content the most on Facebook, 24%, followed by Instagram, 12% and 8% for Snapchat.

For adults, spam emails proved to be the most harmful making it 34%, fake news being 25% and scams making 22% on the whole.

Social media usage grows, but so do users concerns - Ofcom study

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