John Whittingdale attended the NSPCC’s Parliamentary Reception on Online Safety to support the charity’s new ‘Share Aware’ campaign which aims to get families talking about socialising safely online. The NSPCC has created a new online guide to help inform parents about the risks of different social networking sites used by children. This comes after an NSPCC survey revealed that three quarters of parents surveyed found sexual, violent, or other inappropriate content on Sickipedia, Omegle, Deviant Art, and F my Life within half an hour of logging into the sites.
An NSPCC panel of more than 500 parents from Mumsnet reviewed 48 social networking sites and said all those aimed at adults and teenagers were too easy for children under 13 to sign-up to. On more than 40 per cent of the sites, the panel struggled to locate privacy, reporting and safety information. Those aimed at younger children, like Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, Popjam and Bearville, fared better and parents did not find any unsuitable content on them. The NSPCC also asked just under 2,000 children and young people which social networking sites they used. Talking to strangers or sexual content were the main concerns mentioned by children. But they also thought the minimum age limit for signing up to many sites should be higher, despite saying they’d used the sites when they were underage.John is pictured with Felix and Hassan who took part in the survey.