Minors user twist their age on social media: Ofcom UK

There are millions of accounts on different social media platforms, and every one of them requires your personal information to keep friends and family updated about the upcoming event in your life. But recently, it has come to light that most adolescents enter the incorrect age to log in to their accounts.

Platforms like Instagram and Facebook faced issues in recent years about mishandling users’ privacy on their platforms and paid for it heavily. Yet again, they let loose some hooks hanging without fixing them. According to a recent survey, young people use social media under alias names and forge their age numbers to sign up for their accounts.

In today’s world, young people use social media more extensively than grownups, and 1/3rd of minors are manipulating their age to sign up for their social media accounts, reports Ofcom. Children who fall under the category of 8 to 17 age are widely involved in falsifying their age on public networking platforms. 77% seem to use social media with their name and age. Whereas 60% of users are children, and few of them are using their parent’s accounts.

Moreover, some kids under the age of 18 signed up for the program on their own, and 2/3rd did so with the help of a close relative or custodian. To guarantee the safety of social media accounts, Ofcom commissioned the UK to pass the protection bill in the coming days. The reason for creating a safe space for all social media users and protecting free speech is to ensure the safety of its people.

As a result of social media's lack of filters, many of these kids are viewing the same content as adults. It could also expose children to activities that are unfitting for them. Pornography and gambling, for example, are not activities that parents want their kids to engage in at a young age. To stop these fake logins and show content that is relatable to 18-year-olds, the forthcoming bill will take a different approach.

As far as parents are concerned, this growing indulgence in social media allows them to decide under social pressure. They want their children to figure out risky content by themselves, but the risk is too precarious to take. The latest case in the UK found out that a young girl committed suicide, worrying parents to take action.

This research has shown that teenagers get easily influenced by the content they see on social media platforms. The suicide of a young girl was influenced by Instagram and Pinterest posts which also show us how the content attracts different groups of people towards it.

People can have their own opinions and express them on social media in the age of freedom. But at the same time, freedom of speech may be a little bit more harmful to the younger generation and may affect them in many ways. Ofcom is working to ensure that youngsters do not engage in negative behaviors and that the platform is harmless for everyone.

Read next: How to protect your sensitive data when browsing online
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