Almost two thirds of children share images with people they meet online, survey finds

File photo of a child using a laptop. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

File photo of a child using a laptop. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A new report has revealed that almost two thirds of children have shared a video or image with someone they only know online.

The report, published to mark Safer Internet Day, also found that many children are accessing content which is not suitable for their age.

The vast majority of eight to 17-year-olds questioned - 84pc - told researchers they had shared a photo online in the last day, with around 17pc saying they had done so in the last hour.

About 70pc of this group said they had seen content which was not suitable for their age in last year, while among 13 to 17-year-olds alone, almost half - 45pc - said they had seen nude, or nearly nude, pictures of someone they knew being shared around their school or community.

And nearly two-thirds - 65pc - said they had shared a video or image with someone they only know online.


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In addition, just over one in five - 22pc - of all those surveyed said that someone had posted an image or video in an attempt to bully them.

Three in 10 admitted they had shared a photo they would not want their mother or father to see, while 38pc said they worry about losing control of a picture they had shared online.

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The report - commissioned by UK Safer Internet Centre and carried out by ResearchBods - did find that the internet is being used by young people for positive purposes - about two thirds said that in the last year they have posted an image or video for positive reasions, such as to support friends or share something interesting.

Will Gardner, a director of the UK Safer Internet Centre and chief executive of Childnet, said: 'It is fair to say that in 2017 the internet is powered by images and videos.

'This can magnify the risks and pressures that young people face, while also offering fun new opportunities for self-expression and creativity.'

'Today's findings remind us that with an ever-changing landscape, it is more important than ever to equip young people with the skills, knowledge, confidence and resilience to communicate using images and videos responsibly and positively.'

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