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Kids as young as eight falling victim to online predators

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Barnardo’s, a major children’s charity in the UK, hasfound that children as young as eightare being sexually exploited online via social media. In prior years, the youngest respondents to the Barnardo’s survey were 10, suggesting an unfortunate downward trend in progress.

The newest draw for young children, and sadly those who prey on them, is live streaming. Barnardo’s says that video streaming apps like TikTok, as well as streaming within already-popular apps like Instagram, are both extremely popular and very hard to moderate. When you add in the real-time comments posted directly to the person streaming, unfortunately you have an environment that’s ripe for exploitation.

Just last year, Barnardo’s ran a survey via YouGov in the UK and found 57% of 12-year-olds surveyed and 28% of 10-year-olds had live-streamed content on apps that are supposed to be used only by over-13s. In addition, about a quarter of the 10 to 16-year-olds surveyed said they regretted something they...(continued)

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