MENLO PARK (CBS SF) – Age limits on Facebook and other social sites aren’t working to keep young children off away from the Internet properties, according to a newly-released survey.

Knowthenet – a non-profit funded group that tracks Internet behavior – conducted a survey of parents and 8-16 year olds in the U.K. and found that 52 percent of children admitted they had ignored the site’s age limit.

The stated age limit to join Facebook is 13.

The study also found that kids were engaging in potentially risky behavior after joining social sites with more than a fifth posting nasty comments and an even larger number admitting to taking over another person’s account without permission.

Researchers found that behavior evolves quickly between age 9 and 11, with that latter being the most common age to first post a photo or a nasty comment. Twitter use becomes more common around age 12, according to Kowthnet. Twitter says their site is not intended for people under 13.

The full report lays out the common timeline for a child’s online development and offers tips for parents on how to communicate about the subject.


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