The social network leader Facebook has been investigated by OFCOM, the telecoms operator, who found that over half of young children who have access to the internet have a profile on Facebook. This was not an investigation of Facebook as such, just a look into the world of social networks, a world which has become a little murky of late with many children thought to be at risk from predators.
OFCOM are in the process of putting together an array of recommendations for all social networking sites which will effectively block child access to certain areas and stop them from displaying information about themselves which might allow others to identify where they live, what they look like and even which school they go to. While the findings themselves are a little surprising, the growing threat to children is the most worrying factor to come to light of late.
Even though there are already many internet child lock systems on the market, there are concerns that children are easily finding ways around these. Social networks such as Facebook may well be forced to remove personal information from the millions of profiles which they hold on behalf of members, and introduce powerful new systems to spot predatory actions and flag them as soon as possible. As a consequence the race is now on to design and implement a system which is literally child proof and one which will not only enhance their experience online, but improve their security.
Social networks sites have long been a thorn in the side of the regulators and while problems have been flagged in the past, there is now a very strong movement towards greater security for users. There have been a number of dreadful incidents in the UK and around the globe which have highlighted the power of these networks ? and the way in which many people are abusing them.