76% minors under age of 13 use `Youtube`: ASSOCHAM Survey

Monday, December 21, 2015
Access to social media lead to more cyber bullying
Despite government’s strict norms that prohibit children under 13 from joining the social-networking site, nearly 76% of children ages 7 to 13 visit ‘YouTube’ daily in tier-I & tier-II cities which can lead to negative outcomes such as cyber bullying and online sexual abuse, reveals the ASSOCHAM latest survey.

The statistics are sad and worrying. YouTube requires account holders to be 18, but even a 5 year-old can easily sign up with parent's permission. Despite these clearly stated and published age restrictions, large and growing numbers of children between the age of 7 to 13 are using social media networks, access youtube assistance from their parent's knowledge and consent, reveals the ASSOCHAM findings.

According to the ASSOCHAM latest survey conducted under social development foundation (SDF), nearly 76% of Indian tweens are using ‘Youtube' daily and other social networking sites, as majority of the parents help kids to access the site, reveals the ASSOCHAM findings. The most watched clips on YouTube, 69% are music videos.

The survey was conducted under ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF) of 4,750 parents of the age group 6-13 years old in major metropolitan cities like Lucknow ranks 1st followed by Delhi-NCR (2nd), Mumbai (3rd), Ahemdabad (4th), Chennai (5th), Kolkata (6th), Bangalore (7th), Hyderabad (8th), Pune,  Coimbatore, Chandigarh and Dehradun etc.

The vast majority (75%) of the parents of 7-13 year-olds are aware of their child for signing up for the youtube site.

While releasing the survey, ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr. D S Rawat said, “children are gaining access to social media sites like ‘Youtube’ at a younger age, which could expose them to content, people or situations that are out of their depth”.

As per the findings, nearly 76% of 13-year-olds, 69% of 11-year-olds and 65% of 10-year-old are on Youtube, while 40-50% of 8 & 9 year-olds are also active on the other site, reveals the findings.

Dr. B K Rao, Chairman of ASSOCHAM Health Committee said, “minors lack the experience or judgment to use a social network and this raises the scary predators tracking down kids who reveal their age in an online chat, cyber bullying and online sexual abuse”.

Mr. Rawat said, “the easy availability of technology with lack of parental supervision is a significant reason for this ever-increasing menace of technology addiction”, highlights the survey.

An aspect which emerged out of this survey is that children of working parents are found to be more technology addictive in the absence of parental supervision, as compared to those whose single parent is engaged in employment. This trend is abundant in metros where normally both the parents are employed, reveals the survey.

“Having a genuine and transparent two-way communication with children is absolutely fundamental to establishing a safe and positive cyber experience,” reveals the ASSOCHAM paper.

Despite these clearly stated and published age restrictions, large and growing numbers of children 13 and under are using social media networks, often with their parent's knowledge and consent.

Watching video clips is also widely popular in part to YouTube – which happens to be the most popular website.  Kids, of course, love watching video clips – especially the funny ones. They are also using it as a “search engine” to find video clips.

Kids in developing countries also use computers more frequently. On average, they use computers 12-14 hours a week versus 8 hours a week (for kids in developed countries).

‘YouTube’ is now the world’s third most popular online destination. Of the 3.2 billion people who have Internet access, more than 1 billion watch YouTube. It has more Indian viewers ages 18 to 49 just on mobile than any cable network, adds the paper.

As per the ASDF’s findings:
  • 95% of teens (12-17) use the internet
  • 81% use social media (compared with 72% of internet users overall)
  • 72% log into social media more than once per day
  • 65% of kids under 13 use social media sites
  • 76% of kids under 13 have a YouTube account
  • 51% of those said that they have a smartphone
  • The majority of teens are using laptops (35%) and tablets (32%) to access their favorite websites
  • YouTube is the most popular site, with 75% of teens saying they access it most often.
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