jugendschutz.net report: Young people safe on social media?

Too little protection for children and young people on the Internet | Report published by jugendschutz.net on safety in social media | Platforms delete only one third of reported violations

Children and young people are often defenceless against bullying, hate and violence in social media. Violations are too rarely deleted by youth-sensitive platforms. Protective mechanisms such as securely preconfigured profiles or reliable age checks are lacking. These are the findings of research by jugendschutz.net on the risks on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

"Only one third of the youth protection violations we reported as simple users were removed by the operators," says Friedemann Schindler, head of jugendschutz.net. "Deletion rates were particularly poor for inadmissible depictions of violence and content that propagates self-harming behavior." In addition, the reporting functions were often difficult to find or were only available to logged-in users.

The new report also shows that no operator offers safe accounts for children. While all services display a minimum age for use, they ignore the obligation under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to reliably verify the age of their users or obtain parental consent.

The report "Young people safe on social media?" summarizes the results of a project for the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs. jugendschutz.net checked how the operators of YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr react to the reporting of violations and what precautions they take, for example through safe default settings, to reduce risks for children and young people. 

Info and materials for young people on the safe use of social media services: