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Is Social Media Harming Kids' Moral Development? UK Parents Think So

They also admit they know kids are using Facebook even when they don't meet the age requirement.

By Lauren Stephenson | July 18, 2016

Many parents in the United Kingdom think social media is harmful to their children.

Of the more than 1,700 parents polled by researchers at The Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues, more than half said they think social media impedes their children's "moral development."

SEE MORE: On 9/11, We Turned On The TV. Now, We Turn To Social Media

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The University of Birmingham researchers also discovered 60 percent of those polled believe anger and hostility are the most common negative character traits they see used on social media.

It's not that surprising with the recent Brexit.


Despite the popularity of selfies, parents ranked vanity as only the ninth most negative social media vice. 

Not all parents hate their children's use of social media. Fifteen percent of parents said sites like Facebook and Twitter positively influence their children's character.

And 72 percent of parents who use social media said they see "positive moral messages" on social media on a daily basis.

SEE MORE: Pakistani Social Media Celeb Is Dead After An Apparent 'Honor Killing'

But if it's so concerning to parents, why do they let their kids have social media accounts? 

Users have to be at least 13 to use Facebook, but researchers at the University of Birmingham said parents acknowledged "64 percent of 11- and 12-year-olds use Facebook in violation of its age restriction."

Those parents probably won't want to look at the University of Pittsburgh study published earlier this year. It found young adults who frequently check social media sites are more likely to become depressed. 

This video includes images from Getty Images and clips from SnapchatInstagramFacebookTwitterABC / "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and  the University of Birmingham.

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