Study: Online video-sharing sites seen as risky by children

Pornography and violent content are two of the leading reasons why children consider online video-sharing sites to be more risky than other online platforms, concluded a study by the EU Kids Online project, led by the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The study asked nearly 10,000 children aged nine to 16, "What things on the Internet would bother people about your age?" according to a story in The Financial.

Online sharing sites topped the list at 32 percent, followed by websites (29 percent), social networking sites (13 percent) and games (10 percent). Most concerns about video sharing sites revolved around violent content (30 percent), while pornographic content (27 percent) followed closely. Other concerns were "unwanted, scary or hateful content or content harmful to self-esteem," the story said. Boys appeared to be more bothered by violence and girls by contact-related risks.

The story and study concluded that the Internet presents only an extension of existing media-related challenges that fuel children's fears and concerns.

The "Internet is a new way of delivering old challenges and concerns. Just as in the offline world, it seems that many problems can be identified online; indeed, for children especially, the online-offline distinction is of ever less relevance," the story noted.

The difference between kids and adults was clearly evident in the disparity between what concerns each group. Less than 1 percent of the children were concerned about the danger of sharing personal information, and few mentioned commercial content, spending too much time online or other people accessing their personal data.

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