Poll: Majority of children admit to online risk-taking

From VoicED

A new poll of 2000 11-16 year olds carried out for BBC Learning has found that almost three in five (57%) have done something ‘risky’ or anti-social while online. In addition, almost two in three (62%) said that they felt under pressure from peers to act in this way on the internet. The research was released to coincide with Internet Safety Day, which takes place on February 10th and utilized a combined CATI and online methodology.

In terms of accessing the internet, all those surveyed were active internet users. 94% accessed the internet from a PC or laptop, 83% from a smartphone, 72% from a tablet and more than half (51%) from an online games console.

The activities described included saying negative things about other people, viewing unsuitable websites and, perhaps most worryingly, sharing unsuitable videos or pictures of themselves. Moreover, a fifth of those surveyed admitted to having pressured someone else to act in a negative way online (this rose to 32% in London).

Of the 2000 respondents, almost half (47%) said that they had viewed something on the internet that they did not think their parents would want them to view, whilst around one in seven (14%) said they had sent images of either themselves, or of someone else, that they did not think their parents would want them to send.

A tenth had signed up to online sites or services which were not meant to be viewed by their age group.

In terms of cyber-bullying, almost three quarters (72%) of respondents aged 14-16 had witnessed some form of online bullying, or had been subjected to it. While this is a bleak statistic, there are positive signs. Three quarters had blocked another user of an app or on a website, two thirds (68%) had supported someone else who had suffered cyber-bullying and 74% had ‘stood up for themselves’.

According to a different survey, YouTube is the most popular website used by children aged 11-16, with almost four fifths (78%) using it weekly. Three quarters use Facebook the most (74%), around half cited SnapChat (46%) with a similar number mentioning Instagram (43%). Twitter and WhatsApp were mentioned by more than a third (37% each) with Skype and Minecraft both garnering just less (32%). The BBC Learning survey largely corroborates this data – with YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and SnapChat all featuring among the most used apps.

This post originally appeared on VoicED.org.uk and has been republished with permission. 

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