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How safe is being online? Views of parents points towards the unknown

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How safe is being online? Views of parents points towards the unknown

“The business model is reaching deeper and deeper down the brainstem at a younger and younger age, much like the tobacco companies had to get kids addicted early,” said Tristan Harris, president co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology. — © AFP

In their survey of 2,000 people in the UK, Veriff has uncovered the UK’s thoughts and feelings towards online safety. The survey focuses on parents and the issue of age restrictions, probing the parenteral responsibility versus technology company responsibility issues.

In the latest research from international identity verification provider, there is a relative low awareness about Internet developments. For example, 22 million (41 percent) people say they do not know what the metaverse is. This is a potential worry, particularly for parents for with those who are aware of this next phase in the development of the Internet, 44 percent say they are concerned about how the metaverse could impact their child’s safety online.

As to where responsibility falls, 59 percent of parents believe technology companies are responsible for their children’s protection online. This is a surprising figure, given what might have traditionally been expected in relation to parenteral responsibility. In relation to this, almost three-quarters (73 percent) of parents believe that online identity verification should be a legal requirement for social media platforms.

Remarkably, almost half (45.43 percent) of parents of girls were unaware of age restrictions for social media platforms. Is this something that should rest with the parent to ascertain the content or of the technology firm?

For different social media platforms, the ages that parents would wish to see in place compared with what social media providers permit, is shown in the following table:

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  Platform Average age parents would allow their children to use platform Age restriction
YouTube 12.39 13
Roblox 12.36 7
Playstation Network 12.7 18
Xbox Live 12.9 18
Whatsapp 13 16
Twitch 14.1 13
Instagram 14.26 13
Discord 14.03 13
TikTok 14.09 13
Snapchat 14.27 13
Facebook 14.35 13
Reddit 14.63 13
Twitter 14.74 13

The study revealed that parents felt that the average age for using YouTube and gaming sites such as the Playstation Network and Xbox Live should be, on average, 12-years-old. However, the age restriction is 18 – though it can be accessed at a younger age with parental consent. In contrast, most parents found that sites such as Twitter would be acceptable at 14.

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The findings point to 46 percent of parents being unaware of such platforms’ age restrictions.

Overall, 80 percent of parents are worried about their child’s online safety and most parents would prefer children to be over 14 before using social media platforms – a year older than the age requirement. It is uncertain why parents are not putting in place measures to ensure this age requirement is met.

Another finding of interest is that what would equate to six million U.K. citizens (should the survey results be representative and extrapolatable) have admitted to having lied about their identity online. For example, 9 percent of respondents admitted to having pretended to be someone else online.

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YouTube Tests Disappearing Community Posts, Expands Access to Membership Gifting

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YouTube Tests Disappearing Community Posts, Expands Access to Membership Gifting

YouTube is testing out a new post type within its Community Posts element, while it’s also expanding access to ‘Membership Gifting’, which provides another way for creators to boost their audience in the app.

First off, on disappearing posts – YouTube’s running a new experiment that will enable selected creators to set a time limit on their Community Posts in the app, which will see those updates disappear after 24 or 72 hours.

As you can see in this example, the new option will enable you to set an expiration date for a Community Post, which will then see it automatically erased from view after that time.

YouTube says that creators have been seeking more ways to enhance engagement within the Community Posts element:

“We’ve heard from creators that they would like the ability to share content that is only available for a short period of time – for example, a special time-limited discount on merch or a special message for fans that manage to catch it before it expires.”

YouTube’s Community Posts, which it opened up to all channels with over 500 subscribers in September last year (down from 1,000 subs previously), enable creators to share text-based posts – which can include polls, GIFs, images, and video – within their Community tab.

YouTube Community Posts

That provides another way to extend your community-building efforts beyond video content and subsequent comments, which is more aligned with the engagement that you’ll find on in other social apps.

And soon, you’ll also be able to share disappearing posts too – though the initial test is only running with selected creators on Android devices to begin with.

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“Viewers will be able to see that a post will expire in x hours at the top of the post in the community tab, and creators will see their expired posts in the ‘Community’ tab under the ‘Archived’ chip once it has expired. Creators can’t re-share expired posts, but we are planning on adding that functionality in the future.”

On another front, YouTube’s also expanding access to its ‘Membership Gifting’ option, which enables Channel members to purchase gift memberships, which are then distributed to other viewers who are not subscribed to the channel.

YouTube Membership Gifting

Which may seem a little odd, but the idea is that this is a support measure for creators, not a gift for friends, as such, providing a means to both give the creator revenue (as they get the usual cut from gifted memberships), while also helping them to boost their audience in the app.

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“Up until now, gifting memberships was in a limited beta stage only, and only accessible by a small number of creators. But with this launch, we’re expanding the number of creators that have access to gifting memberships. And as a creator, you can buy gift memberships for your community without becoming a member yourself.”

To be eligible for the program, Channels need to have memberships enabled at a level of $4.99. Viewers also need to opt in to receive gifts during a stream, which they can do by tapping on the ‘Allow Gifts’ prompt in the chat on an eligible broadcast. 

It could be a handy option for building community in the app, and with many YouTubers inspiring legions of passionate fans, you can imagine that some will be more than happy to participate in helping to grow their favorite creators’ following.

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