Overuse of social networking may also make children more susceptible to depression and anxiety.
A certain number of actions have been engaged by governments to better understand the problem and find some solutions.
In May 2010, a child pornography social networking site with hundreds of members was dismantled by law enforcement. It was deemed “the largest crimes against children case brought anywhere by anyone”.
Girls in particular are also known to be at more of a risk online using social networks than boys – because they often manipulate other users online by making themselves look older than what they actually appear which can attract sexual predators.
Social networking can also be a risk to child safety in another way; parents can get addicted to games and neglect their children. One instance in South Korea resulted in the death of a child from starvation.
Law enforcement agencies have published articles with their recommendations to parents about their children’s use of social networking sites.
A common misuse of social networking sites such as Facebook is that it is occasionally used to emotionally abuse individuals. Such actions are often referred to as trolling. Trolling can occur in many different forms, such as (but not limited to) defacement of deceased person(s) tribute pages, name calling, playing online pranks on volatile individuals and controversial comments with the intention to cause anger and cause arguments.
Online bullying, also called cyber-bullying, is a relatively common occurrence and it can often result in emotional trauma for the victim. Depending on the networking outlet, up to 39% of users admit to being “cyber-bullied”.
There are not many limitations as to what individuals can post when online. Individuals are given the power to post offensive remarks or pictures that could potentially cause a great amount of emotional pain for another individual.