BBC: Children flock to social networks

Is the Hi5 phenomenon going to die and leave the areas it has decisively occupied to the wide range of social networks?

More than a quarter of eight to 11-year-olds who are online in the UK have a profile on a social network, research shows.

Most sites, such as Bebo, MySpace and Facebook, set a minimum age of between 13 and 14 to create a profile but none actively enforce the age limit. Ofcom's survey of 5,000 adults and 3,000 children found 49% of those aged between eight and 17 have a profile. Ofcom says parents need to keep an eye on what their children do online.

The Ofcom report looks into the impact of social networks on people's lives in the UK as part of a wider media literacy campaign and surveyed 5,000 adults and more than 3,000 children. "Social networks are clearly a very important part of people's lives and are having an impact on how people live their lives," said James Thickett, director of market research at Ofcom.

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