Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Parents putting young children at risk through Facebook, says minister

Facebook has 845 million monthly users worldwide

Children’s minister Tim Loughton believes parents are putting their children at risk by helping them to set up Facebook profiles and were even helping their child ‘lie’ to go on the site.

He said some parents were ‘aiding and abetting’ youngsters to set up pages on the social networking site despite an age limit of 13, an accusation which follows a claim by a Google executive that it was up to parents to shield their children from internet pornography.

Facebook’s UK policy director Simon Milner told the Daily Mail that parents will help a child by adding ten years to their real age. “It’s a problem and we have found no solution to it. It is very difficult when a parent is helping a child lie to get around it.”

Meanwhile Labour MP Ann Coffey has urged mobile phone companies to do more to combat ‘sexting’ where teenagers send sexual pictures of themselves using camera phones, which could end up being viewed online by paedophiles.

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