Parents more concerned about children on social media than knife crime, our poll reveals

Almost two-thirds of adults think sites such as Instagram and Facebook are a bad influence.

They say it exposes their children to bullying, fraud, being groomed by paedophiles or graphic pictures of self-harming and suicide.

Mounting alarm about the effect of social media on children is laid bare in a Onepoll survey for The Sun on Sunday.

It reveals that it is now the third biggest worry facing British parents.

Bullying is their top concern and social media is only narrowly behind drug abuse.

Many of them fear their youngsters have become addicted, distracted from their homework or that the craze has affected their behaviour or sleep patterns.

But alarmingly, 47 per cent of parents believe it’s hard to control, oversee or limit their children’s screen time. And 63 per cent admit their kids go online without an adult present.

Nearly half of adults – 47 per cent – back government threats to hold social media firms legally responsible for children’s safety.

Three in four want celebrities who promote suspect diets or slimming plans for youngsters banned from social media.

Some 53 per cent want tougher restrictions to stop under-16s from opening social media accounts.

This could include a requirement to provide proof of age rather than simply tick a box.

They are also demanding the removal of location data for posts by teenagers and automatic cut-off after two hours’ use on any single day.

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