Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



Parents warned of the sinister side of social websites


LISBURN parents are being urged to monitor their children's use of social networking websites.

Such sites have become a huge hit with young people but one father has warned they can be used in a sinister manner.

Having noticed a change in his 12year-old's behaviour, the man who did not want to be named said when he investigated further he realised his child was being influenced by satanic verses, vulgar

language, evidence of cyber bullying and inappropriate images. He explained: "It is not just a network amongst friends - it is more than that.

'Many parents do check their child's home page but they don't realise what else can be accessed. "Most of the kids have numerous pictures on their pages - a lot of these pictures are taken with mobile phones inside the schools without permission."

The man also claimed very personal id's 'including sexual names' were being used by youngsters.

He said family details and the areas in which young people lived were also often revealed.

"Only a small percentage of children deny access to viewing their profile - the majority can be viewed by anyone," he concluded. In response to a report on the matter by consumer body 'Computing Which?', Michael Birch the boss of 'Bebo' - one popular example of a social networking site - said: "Sadly, children face risks in everyday life, whether playing in their school grounds or on the internet. We are very conscious of this and are working hard to ensure our site is not abused."

Surfing the web on the Bebo site - local man urges parents to be wary.

Ulster Star