Saturday 10 December 2016

Children too trusting of what they learn on internet - study

Josie Clarke in London

Published 20/11/2015 | 02:30

Children are now spending an average of 15 hours online every week. Picture posed
Children are now spending an average of 15 hours online every week. Picture posed

Children now spend an average of 15 hours a week online and are becoming increasingly trusting of what they find, a study has revealed.

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The amount of time eight to 15-year-olds spend on the internet has more than doubled over the last decade, the British report into media attitudes among children and parents found.

But these so-called digital natives - children who have grown up with the internet - often lack "online nous" to decide if what they see is true or impartial, the UK's communications regulator Ofcom said.

Almost one in 10 children who go online (8pc) believe information from social media websites or apps is "all true" - doubling from 4pc last year - and most 12 to 15-year-olds are unaware that "vloggers", or video bloggers, can be paid to endorse products.

Almost a fifth of online 12 to 15-year-olds (19pc) believe information returned by a search engine such as Google or Bing must be true, but only a third (31pc) are able to identify paid-for adverts.

The study found children are increasingly turning to YouTube for "true and accurate" information about the world.

But just half of 12 to 15-year-olds who watch YouTube are aware that advertising is the main source of funding on the site, and less than half (47pc) are aware vloggers are often paid to favourably mention products.

Irish Independent

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