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Concern Over Children Having Easy YouTube Access

Lucknow has the highest rate of kids watching YouTube, followed by Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore, according to an Assocham study

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Nearly 76 per cent of children between 7 to 13 years of age, surf YouTube on regular basis in Tier-I and II cities, a trend that can lead to negative outcomes such as cyberbullying and online sexual abuse.

Uttar Pradesh's capital Lucknow has topped the chart, followed by Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore.

Despite the government’s strict norms that prohibit children under 13 from joining social networking sites, even a 5-year-old can easily sign up to use YouTube with parents' permission, a study conducted by the industry body Assocham showed.

The vast majority (75 per cent) of the parents of 7-13 year-olds are aware of their children using YouTube.

"Children are gaining access to social media sites like ‘Youtube’ at a younger age, which could expose them to content, people or situations that are out of their depth,” D.S. Rawat, Assocham's secretary general, said in a press release.

B.K. Rao, chairman of the Assocham Health Committee, said, "Minors lack the experience or judgment to use a social network and this raises the scary predators tracking down kids who reveal their age in an online chat, cyber bullying and online sexual abuse."

The easy availability of technology with lack of parental supervision is a significant reason for this ever-increasing menace of technology addiction, the survey highlighted.

Children of working parents are found to be more technology addictive in the absence of parental supervision, as compared to those whose single parent is engaged in employment. This trend is abundant in metros where normally both the parents are employed, the survey showed.

YouTube has become the world’s third most popular online destination. Of the 3.2 billion people who have Internet access, more than 1 billion watch YouTube.

It has more Indian viewers ages 18 to 49 just on mobile than any cable network, according to the study.

The survey was conducted under Assocham’s Social Development Foundation (ASDF) on 4,750 parents who had children in the 6-13 age group.

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