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Survey finds larger percentage of UK children using Facebook than in US

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By The Drum Team, Editorial

February 7, 2012 | 2 min read

On Safe Internet Day, a survey has discovered that a higher percentage of 8-12 year olds have access to Facebook, than they do in America.

The survey of 2,000 children in the UK and America by Dubit, found that 44% of children aged between 8-12 had access to the social networking platform, in comparison to only 37% of American children, although over three quarters of respondents (78%) said they would like a ‘junior Facebook’ account for under 13’s.

Over half (53%) of those questioned said that they would be willing to join an under-13’s version of Facebook.

Other findings included 66% of six-year-olds having some awareness of Facebook, while 23% of eight-year-olds were also found to have some access to the site.

Ian Douthwaite, CEO of Dubit, said: “This research should be welcome news to Facebook who have a great opportunity to widen their audience and legitimise these kids’ membership. It also explains the popularity of games like Moshi Monsters and Bin Weevils which are giving children a safe place to play online. Our research shows that games are one of the main reasons for children joining social networks: This includes the fact that 36 per cent of 6-14 year-olds have played games on Facebook in the last month, higher than any other gaming portal and emphasising the importance games play in attracting children to social networks.”

The majority of children who said that they were not a member of Facebook, said it was because they were not allowed to sign-up rather than because they had no interest in the site.

Douthwaite added: “There is a current danger on Facebook that if children lie about their age and don’t register a correct date of birth that they will be getting served advertising that is not appropriate for their age. A “Junior Facebook” that obtained parental consent for under-13s to have an account could help solve this problem.”

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