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Last Updated: Tuesday April 13 2010 12:17 GMT

Do you go on social websites?

Boy using a PC at home

Loads of children are ignoring age rules about going on social websites, says a new report.

To use most social websites like Facebook and Bebo, you're supposed to be at least a teenager.

But in a survey for Ofcom, one in four children between eight and 12 who use the internet at home said they had a profile on a social networking site.

So do you ignore the age limit on social websites?

If so, why do you do it?

And do your parents know about any online profiles you have?

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

Your comments

"Yes I do. I normally always go on Twitter and Facebook."

Kiewii, 9, Forfar, Scotland

"I only use email and that's the closest I get. I agree with Newsround, but if you're on holiday, you can see how relatives or friends are doing."

Elise, 10, Lanarkshire, Scotland

"I have Facebook, I am safe with it and my mum has Facebook so she can see who I am friends with and what I do on it! Also, it is a nice way to talk to your family who live a long way away!"

Maisie, 12, Brighton, England

"I don't go on these websites because once you start they become addictive!"

Summer, 11, London, England

"I go on MSN because, in my opinion, it is the safest."

Jasmine, 10, Manchester, England

"I don't go on these websites because I think they are not necessary in your life. I heard that Bebo is going to close soon, so Bebo members watch out!"

Holly, 11, London, England

"I have Facebook and MSN to keep updated with my friends and family, and my parents don't mind as long as I use these sites safely and add people I know."

Maryam, 11, Bristol, England

"I will sign up to be a member on Facebook when I am a teenager, because I know I will be more mature then. Not long to wait!!"

Phoebe, 12, Surrey, England

"I have Facebook, MSN, Bebo, Twitter and more. It's a good way to communicate with your friends!"

Ellie, 13, Portsmouth, England

"I go on Bebo all the time, but my friends don't! It's so annoying, but my parents don't know about it, otherwise they wouldn't let me have it. Sorry Newsround, I don't think social sites are bad for you!"

Quintence, 13, Nottingham, England

"I don't go on any of these sites because my parents say I'm too young and sometimes people can actually find information about you. I only go on Moshi Monsters, Tutpup and CBBC!!!"

Miriam, 11, London, England

"I use Facebook but I'm careful as to who I add and look for things like mutual friends too see if I know them."

Jamie, 13, Norfolk, England

"I have a Facebook and MSN. I don't use my MSN a lot and my mum always checks who I am talking to on Facebook and who I am adding as a friend."

Lydia, 11, Shropshire, England

"I think these websites are silly because you waste your time on them and it is much easier to phone someone."

Grace, 14, London, England

"I enjoy Facebook so I can communicate with my friends and cousins that are all over the world. If you do not protect yourselves from people seeing your info and pics, well then delete your account, but if you're sensible enough then why not?!"

Kellie, 11, Coventry, England

"I wanted to go on Facebook and Bebo, but my mum wouldn't let me. I realise that social network sites are dangerous and if you are under age and use these sites, be careful."

Jack, 10, York, England

"I have both MSN and Facebook. I think it's your parents choice and how responsible you are. Just make sure you don't add people you don't know."

Salii, 13, London, England

"I use Facebook and MSN. MSN's really good for talking non-stop and playing games and Facebook is super!"

Jordan, 12, Newcastle, England

"Yes, I use social sites such as Facebook, so I can keep in touch with my friends. I'm careful though, with things like adding friends. It's actually pretty safe, as you can block people and you only talk to people that you add. There's plenty of privacy settings too, so people you don't know can't view your profile. You have to think about what you write though, and you shouldn't be mean."

Abbie, 12, Gloucestershire, England

"I go on Facebook to chat with my family because my family live in Spain."

Wilf, 7, London, England

"I use MSN because I have Hotmail and it comes free with it. I want Facebook but I am not allowed it until the summer or possibly later. I know some people who have Facebook at the age of nine, which I think is too young!"

Olivia, 11, London, England

"I've got a Facebook and I used to have a Bebo, but I deleted it. I think social networking sites are a great way to communicate, but it does get dangerous, so for a kid to use them, they will have to be pretty mature and be able to swerve the awkward situations. Despite all the bad points, I think Facebook is, in my experience, the safest, but it all really depends on who you add and who you wish to communicate with."

Ayesha, 13, London, England

"I have Facebook, MSN and Habbo! My parents do a lot of checking and I never add anyone I don't know or have never met! On Habbo, people ask for my MSN but I always say no!"

Lauren, 11, Essex, England

"I am not allowed to go on Facebook until I am a teenager. I don't see the point of joining sites like Bebo or Facebook when you are just a child, because if I did I would have nobody to chat with except my big sister."

Ruth, 11, Omagh, N. Ireland

"I am not on any of these websites. I only go on CBBC, Newsround and Tutpup because they are fun!"

Harry, 13, Glasgow, Scotland

"There are age restrictions on these websites for a reason. You are foolish not to follow them because it is you that could get cyber-bullied."

Grace, 14, Newcastle, England

"I use Facebook all the time to catch up with gossip and chat to mates from my last school. There is some stuff on there that isn't good for kids my age, but me and my mates don't go on those applications because we know we are too young!!"

Natalya, 12, Milton Keynes, England

"My personal view over this matter is very strong. I am on Hotmail but not allowed Facebook and Bebo as I am underage. Everyone I know has these websites, even my mum, and this is annoying! I won't disobey my mum but I feel left out."

Demi, 11, Kent, England

"You should always abide by the rules. The age limit is there for a reason, to keep you safe. To be honest, social networking sites should not be around for anyone. It's important to protect your identity. Unders 16s are more under threat."

Kayley, 12, Tyne & Wear, England

"I use Facebook, but my mum knows my password and checks it when I go to bed. I only add people I know and ALWAYS ask my mum if I can add the person and tell her who I am talking to."

Lisa, 12, Wigan, England

"I use Facebook all the time. It is really safe if you know what you're doing because people you don't know can't talk to you unless you add them as a friend."

Hayley, 13, London, England

"I use Facebook a lot but I don't give any personal information out, only my birthday, my name and only talk to my friends and family."

Arianne, 12, London, England

"I got an account on MySpace but my mum said it's too grown-up. I am not allowed to go on others like Facebook but I think I am sensible enough."

Thierry, 10, Milton Keynes, England

"I think that if you are under 13, you should ask your parents' permission and your parents should know your username and password so they can go on and check whether you are safe or not."

Katie, 13, Kent, England

"I go on Facebook and Twitter to talk to my friends."

Henry, 10, Bedfordshire, England

"I use Facebook, MySpace and MSN and I have never had any problems. I think it doesn't matter if you are 10 or over to use social networking sites, just as long as you are aware of the dangers and don't accept friend invites from people who you don't know."

Richard, 13, Sunderland, England

"I don't have a profile because I just use my mum's one. I think Facebook is fun."

Holly, 11, Oxford, England

"I'm not really on social websites like Facebook and Bebo because I think they're mostly on for people aged 13. I think some kids are keeping it a secret that they're on one of the social websites."

Aisling, 10, Dublin, Ireland

"MSN is safe for any age and I have got it, but I only add friends that I know."

Chloe, 9, Kent, England

"I use Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Bebo. It's great to be in touch with family."

Rachel, 8, Florida, USA

"It's up to your parents to choose what you join. The government can't do anything about it because they don't look after you. If you only add people you know, it is OK."

Katie, 12, Wakefield, England

"I don't think there is much point in going on a social website. You are putting yourself in danger, wasting time and I don't see the point of using the internet to communicate with your friends when you can just visit or phone each other."

Arshpreet, 14, London, England

"I think websites such as Facebook and Bebo are unsafe for children. Most children lie about their age just so that they can get an account."

Zara, 12, London, England

"I think kids should stop going on things like Facebook and Twitter because some kids can hurt people's feelings and they can be pretty mean."

Lauren, 7, Newcastle, England

"I don't like things like Facebook, MySpace or Bebo. I never have and I never will get an account. It's just so easy for people to lie about their age which is really dangerous."

Ruby, 13, Leeds, England

"I think Facebook is a waste of time and pathetic. You can just use a simple website like Yahoo."

Nissy, 13, Birmingham, England

"I do not go on Facebook, Twitter, Bebo or MSN because people can bully and swear at you."

George, 10, Devon, England

"I ignore the age warning about being a teenager to access and have a profile on these sites because my mates do it."

Louise, 10, Berkshire, England

"I use Bebo and I like to chat to my friends online after school to save money on texting, although my Bebo friends are only people I have met in person. As long as people are not friends with strangers on social networking sites, I think its safe."

Holly, 12, South Lanarkshire, England

"My brother tells me to get Facebook and all my friends do as well but I don't because I know things could go wrong like bullying."

Ruhama, 10, Bristol, England

"I love Facebook and MSN and I think that they're really safe because you can block people if you want and you can say no to any people asking to be your friend who you might not know. I'm only friends with people I know and trust."

Georgia, 11, Plymouth, England

"I think they should be for kids 10 and over and that kids between the age of 10 and 13 should tell their parents their password and not add anyone they don't trust and know."

Laura, 11, Glasgow, Scotland

"I use Facebook. I think everyone should be able to have an account as long as they use them safely, don't add anyone they don't know and have the correct privacy settings."

Shivani, 11, Dudley, England

"I don't use them yet but as soon as I turn 13 I will join all of the ones my friends use!"

Zoe, 12, Kent, England

"I think it's thoughtless of people who ignore age rules to get on social networks. They are put there for a reason. Lots of people always think they won't get in trouble because they're really sensible, but you never know. Better to be safe than sorry."

Emily, 13, England

"Hotmail is soooo cool, but I think if you want to have a Facebook or Bebo account, you should ask your parent's permission first. Otherwise, they're great, most of the time!"

Zareen, 14, Burnley, England

"I think the age limit is too high for some websites or games. My parents do know that and they don't mind."

Marissa, 13, Bolsward, Netherlands

"Yes, I always go on MSN and Facebook, but I only add my friends and family and don't accept random people or add any."

Kate, 11, Birmingham, England

"I'm on Bebo and I think that it is OK as long as you only let people you know look at your things."

Sophie, 11, Glasgow, Scotland

"I think chatting online may be faster than using a phone, but you don't really know who you're talking to."

Aneesa, 11, Oxford, England

"I go on Bebo but hardly anyone goes on it because they're too busy with Facebook."

Lilly, 12, London, England

"I don't go on things like that because my mum and dad would tell me off and I am too young. I go on Newsround, CBBC and Club Penguin."

Caitlin, 9, Essex, England

"I have a MSN and MySpace accounts as well as other accounts. I think sometimes these things are dangerous but most of the time they're safe. My parents know that I have online profiles and check up on me."

Dolly, 11, Rochester, England

"I use Facebook and MSN but I block people that I don't know. I love the fact that you can chat to your friends without it costing money. It's the privacy that I like. Mum checks up on me anyway to make sure that I'm OK and not saying or doing anything silly."

Lucy, 9, Coventry, England

"I use Facebook and MSN and Bebo a lot. Whenever I've got a spare minute or two I log in and have a good chat with my mates. I never accept to be friends with people I do not know. I am extremely cautious about internet safety and I never put my personal stuff up on the internet. I also only put pictures up of me and my sister and brother. I don't upload any pictures of myself posing. I don't think that's right at all."

Sophie, 14, Birmingham, England

"I do not think that it is safe because you could get bullied on some of them. I do not have a Facebook account."

Ryan, 10, Essex, England

"I have Facebook and MSN and a lot of my friends add random people that they don't know at all! I don't know why, although it's probably their way of making new friends, which is alright, but it's not safe and I never add people I don't know. My mum always bugs me about who I add and if I know them properly. I know she only asks because she wants to make sure I'm safe but it gets rather annoying sometimes!"

Holly, 14, Chesterfield, England

"I am on Facebook and my parents know about it but I use it to talk to my cousins in India."

Ciara, 11, Manchester, England

"Well, I think that social networks are fine for any age, as long as they use them safely and don't add anyone they don't know or trust."

Charlotte, 13, Nottingham, England

"Hotmail is the best ever! I ignore the age limit because it doesn't really matter! I am not allowed Facebook or Twitter but I have MSN and Hotmail! Bebo is rubbish, and sooo last year!"

Neve, 12, Cambridgeshire, England

"I have Bebo and Facebook. I don't see the problem as my mum and dad know my password and I'm not doing anything dangerous."

Cloee, 13, Belfast, N. Ireland

"I think children should only go onto social sites if they are old enough and responsible enough. If not, then there's no point having an account as there are loads of other websites for children that you can talk on, and are much safer and more fun in my opinion."

Rachel, 10, Shropshire, England

"I go on Facebook everyday. I think they are quite safe as long as you only talk to people you know. I prefer MSN though, because you can only talk to people who have your email address and you can block people if you don't want to talk to them."

Janine, 14, Birmingham, England

"I talk on MSN everyday. In a way they should have chat places for kids, like a mini version of Twitter or Facebook, which kids under the age limit can use."

Tahlia, 9, London, England

"I think children should be able to go on chat sites, but not on places where you can send pictures without an adult."

Thomas, 10, Lancashire, England

"I do not have MySpace, or Facebook or Bebo, because if you're under the age limit, the limit is for a reason, so I abide by those rules."

Shannon, 9, Highlands, Scotland

"I have Facebook, it is awesome!! My mum knows my password, so she monitors me on it. She makes sure I don't add anyone I don't know, which I wouldn't anyway!"

Laura, 12, Northamptonshire, England

"I use Facebook and MSN, but only to keep in touch with my friends and family."

Anna, 12, Essex, England

"I don't go on Facebook or Bebo as I am underage. People could pretend to be the same age, but are really much older. It is not safe!! There are plenty of websites aimed at our age, like Moshi Monsters, which are fun."

Emma, 9, Cambridgeshire, England

"I have Facebook because I think it's fun to use and you get to chat to your mates."

Bradley, 10, London, England

"I think social networking sites should be for everyone."

Mehdi, 11, Leicester, England

"Facebook and MySpace are really dangerous and there are lots of dangerous people out there in this big world. Anything could happen to you, so I advise you not to use it."

Amina, 11, London, England

"I am not using one because I am not old enough, and having heard what happens I don't really want to be on one."

Lilly, 10, York, England

"I have a Facebook and a MySpace account so I can keep in touch with my friends."

Bethanie, 13, County Durham, England

"I have a social networking site profile. I go on it everyday but I am thinking about taking it down."

John, 13, Lancashire, England

"I think if children want websites like Facebook then the owners should make a safer version for kids."

Haider, 10, Birmingham, England

"Yessss! All the time. I do go out and meet them face to face but what's wrong in chatting to them online? Facebook is safe if you just accept your friends and make your profile private. It is good because you can send messages when it's their birthday if you aren't able to see them on that day."

Bethan, 13, Swansea, Wales

"Some of my friends use Facebook and Bebo. I don't because I think it's useless."

Rojin, 10, Edinburgh, Scotland

"I love Facebook. It has games, quizzes and it's a great way to keep in touch. I have lots of old friends of mine and you can always change the privacy setting if you're worried, so only your friends can see your profile."

Sarah, 14, Liverpool, England

"I don't go on many. I only go on Habbo Hotel because I don't want to go on Facebook, Bebo or Twitter."

Isobel, 9, Bucks, England

"I had Bebo but then I deleted it because it kept sending me these rude messages. I think it totally wastes my 30 minutes on my computer anyway!"

Maria, 10, Glasgow, Scotland

"I use social websites and networks to speak to my friends and family because we travel a lot. I think it is a great way to communicate with people. Face to face is better, but when you live far away or you are busy, they are perfect!"

Nathan, 14, Baar, Switzerland

"I don't have an account because I don't need to. What's the point chatting online when you can use a phone?!"

Tara, 11, London, England

"I have a profile on Facebook and chat to my friends a lot of the time. Most of my friends have Facebook, but we're all nearly old enough."

Gavin, 11, Glasgow, Scotland

"I used to have a Facebook account but I deleted it because I felt unsafe. Someone hacked into my account and since then, I feel that children should only go on MSN. The internet isn't very safe because there are horrible people around and they could be anyone."

Isabella, 11, Essex, England

"I have both, and MSN, but I only have certain people on there and my profiles are private. Also, I don't have a picture of me on any of them because then people can't know your identity."

Millie, 13, Edinburgh, Scotland

"I do go on Facebook and I think children over the age of 11 should be allowed to go on sites like these because it lets you chat with your friends."

Declan, 11, Hull, England

"I do have a Facebook account, although it is pointless. I waste a lot of time on it but I don't do anything dangerous or silly."

Jess, 11, Cardiff, Wales

"I think they should put the rules up but my mum knows my password on Facebook, so she knows what I'm doing."

Chloe, 8, London, England

"I use Facebook even though I am under the age limit. I use it because I think that if you're careful on social networking sites you'll be fine. Also, my parents do know about me on it, they also signed me up!"

Hannah, 10, Surrey, England

"I was considering signing up to become a member on Facebook, but after watching 'Caught in the Web' I decided against the idea. It is much safer to talk face to face, rather than using computers, because sometimes people are not completely truthful about who they are!"

Megan, 14, Lincoln, England

"I go on social websites very often because all my friends have Facebook and Bebo. They are actually quite good to talk to people and you can find people that you used to know in the past too. I normally go on MSN because it's better and safer."

Salem, 13, Yorkshire, England

"I have a profile on Twitter, Bebo and Facebook and it is perfectly safe if you know what you are doing. If you want, set your profile to Private so that only you and your friends can see your profile."

John, 14, Inverness, Scotland

"If you have a mobile it costs money to send texts, while on Facebook and Bebo it's free."

Tate, 11, Surrey, England

"I do have a Facebook account but I only add and talk to people I know. My mum also has an account so she can watch what I do and make sure I stay safe."

Sophie, 12, London, England

"It's OK only if you know how dangerous the internet is. Just accept people you know and if someone crazy finds you, block them."

Joe, 11, London, England

"I use Facebook nearly everyday and I think that it is a fantastic site where you can keep in touch with your friends and family. My parents make it safer for me because they decide who can be my friend and who can't, so if you play safe then Facebook can cause no harm."

Jess, 11, Lancaster, England

"I think it's ridiculous that they're taking this so seriously. If the website initiated the panic button like they said they would, anything written that could be potentially dangerous could be reported. Most of us just use Facebook, Bebo and MySpace to keep in contact with friends, you can never be too young to do that!"

Leigh, 12, London, England

I use Facebook and used to go on Bebo. You can change your privacy settings so only friends or certain people can see your profile and photos. Most people only add or accept people they know as well to keep themselves safe."

Lauren, 12, Newcastle, England

"I do have Bebo and Facebook because I think it is an easier way to speak with your friends and express yourself."

Sian, 10, Elgin, Scotland

"I think that it is a big risk but I do have a Bebo, Facebook and a Twitter account. I always ask my mum first but I only have the accounts to keep up with friends that I meet on holidays and clubs."

Stephenie, 11, Cwmbran, Wales

"I do go on Facebook and MSN, but my dad checks it to make sure nothing bad has happened."

Emily, 11, Macclesfield, England

"I have MSN, Bebo and Facebook, and I love it!!! You get the chance to talk to all your friends during the holidays. When I first saw this report I was actually on Facebook and Bebo!! My parents approve of my online profiles and are always aware of the people I'm talking to. I am completely safe online thanks to my parents!"

Catrina, 12, Perthshire, Scotland

"It's stupid because if you live far away from your friends, it's the only way to keep in touch with them, and it's unfair that only a certain age can go on websites. You're not going to be stupid anyway!"

Ben, 10, Stratford, England

"I use Facebook because I catch up with my friends that I haven't seen for years. Without it I only see my old friends and relatives once a year."

Rhys, 11, Birmingham, England

"I think it's OK to have Facebook as long as you know the dangers and don't accept friend requests from strangers. Plus, you get made fun of if you don't have it!"

Ellie, 12, Manchester, England

"I don't go on social websites because I don't think you need to. Face to face is better and especially things like Bebo or Facebook because they are just things that waste your time."

Faduma, 11, London, England

"I do have a profile on Facebook and Bebo because I think children should be given the right to have their own choice and chat to friends in private."

Ross, 11, Trillick, Ireland

"I don't go on them because I don't think they are safe, but I go on MSN instead. Most of my friends are on Facebook though."

Shannon, 9, Cramlington

"I don't have a Bebo or a Facebook like most other people in my class I sometimes get picked on for it but the only reason is because my parents want to keep me safe and they don't want anyone to send me nasty messages."

Amy, 11, Surrey, UK