90 per cent of children aged between four and 12 in Asia Pacific are making use of platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, according to new research. The study by child-focused digital media company TotallyAwesome also found that 98 per cent of parents in the region are concerned about their children's online activities.
Most widely-used social media platforms age-gate at age 13 or older, but TotallyAwesome's research found that nine out of 10 young children had access to these services. This widespread exposure to the potentially adult content hosted on these platforms is worrying, with parents in APAC sharing these concerns.
68 per cent were afraid that their kids might come across inappropriate content, 56 per cent were worried about the potential negative influence, 47 per cent feared cyber-bullying and 34 per cent were concerned about their general online well-being. Overall, 95 per cent of parents recognised that the presence of children on social media represented a risk.
Even more concerning, 68 per cent of parents claimed that their children had already experienced issues arrising from their presence online. 33 per cent said children had already been exposed to inappropraite content, while 24 per cent said their chidlren had fallen victim to bad influence.
"We had expected to see concerns amongst parents regarding their kids' digital safety - this is a global trend," said Quan Nguyen, CEO of TotallyAwesome. "However, the results were much higher than we initially anticipated. It is important for us to seek feedback from both parents and children to make sure that our solutions, such as PopJam, our kid-safe content platform, remain relevant and help kids to stay safe in the digital space."