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Children’s charity the NSPCC estimates that up to 201,000 adolescents in the UK are being subject to attempted grooming online. The new findings come from a study carried out by Family Kids & Youth on behalf of the NSPCC in which 2,004 young people aged 11-17 were asked about their use of social media. The research found that at least 1 in 25 children have received a request to send sexually explicit material to an adult online. The most common social media sites where children experienced grooming were Snapchat and Facebook, where one in 25 said they had received such requests. Second were Twitch and Twitter, with one in 33 reporting having received a request, and one in 50 of those using Instagram and WhatsApp. The charity is now calling on UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to prioritise online safety and introduce laws that deliver a change in protection against abuse. It is also calling for tech companies to take action. NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless explains that it is a tech company’s responsibility to recognise and prevent such occurrences: “tech firms need to be forced to get a grip of the abuse taking place on their sites by using technology to identify suspicious behaviour and designing young people’s accounts with built-in protections”.

Family Kids & Youth LLP
146 Freston Rd
London
W10 6TR
UK

Tel: +44 (0)207 183 0261

Email: victoria@kidsandyouth.com

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