Children's charity NSPCC criticized the government for failing to implement child safety online recommendations made in a report commissioned by ministers a decade ago.
NSPCC's latest report revealed there had been more than 1,300 grooming offences in the first six months since a new law came into effect, with almost two-thirds of cases involving the use of Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram.
It further urged the government to make a mandatory social media code of practise and to fine those who break the rules as reported by the Guardian.
According to Ofcom, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp did not exist a decade ago but currently 83% of 12- to 15-year-olds have a smartphone, and half of all children have a social media profile by age 12.
Peter Wanless, the NSPCC chief executive said: “It’s simply wrong that the government has allowed social networks to mark their own homework for the past decade, and that their new strategy would let that continue.
“It’s impossible to fathom how much harm has been done over those years in terms of online sexual abuse, hate speech, violent and harmful content and cyberbullying.”