Youtube used by 76 percent minors under age of 13: ASSOCHAM

New Delhi, Dec 22 (ANI): Despite government’s strict norms that prohibit children under 13 from joining the social-networking site, nearly 76 percent of children aged between seven to 13 visit ‘YouTube’ daily in tier-I and tier-II cities.

According to an ASSOCHAM survey, this exposure can result in negative outcomes such as cyber bullying and online sexual abuse.

YouTube requires account holders to be 18, but even a five 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 seven 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 percent of Indian teens 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 survey was conducted under ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF) of 4,750 parents of the age group six to 13 years old in major metropolitan cities like Lucknow ranks first followed by Delhi-NCR (second), Mumbai (third), Ahemdabad (fourth), Chennai (fifth), Kolkata (sixth), Bangalore (seventh), Hyderabad (eighth), Pune, Coimbatore, Chandigarh and Dehradun etc.

ASSOCHAM Secretary General, 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 percent of 13-year-olds, 69 percent of 11-year-olds and 65 percent of 10-year-old are on Youtube, while 40-50 percent of eight and nine year-olds are also active on the other site, reveals the findings.

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.

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 eight 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 one billion watch YouTube. It has more Indian viewers ages 18 to 49 just on mobile than any cable network, adds the paper. (ANI)

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