BY JENNY MONROE
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
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
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.