A study in the UK found that 21 percent of parents surveyed had created a fake social media account to spy on their children. The study, from VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, polled 2,627 British parents over the age of 30 with at least one child between ages 13 and 18.
The research also found that parents overwhelmingly use Facebook more than other social media platforms, with 82 percent of those surveyed saying they had a Facebook profile. (Compare that to 54 percent for Twitter and 33 percent for Instagram.) Amusingly, 63 percent of parents had been blocked by their children on social media, and 47 percent of the parents who set up fake profiles had been found out by their children.
While parents may feel it’s in the best interests of their children to observe their online behavior, the company behind the study disagrees.
“The potential consequences of spying on your child through these deceitful means is potentially very damaging for your relationship with them,” said Nick Swan, the CEO and founder of Voucher Codes Pro. “These days it is completely normal for teenagers to spend a large proportion of their spare time online, and there are certainly better ways to ensure your child’s online safety than by creating fake online profiles.”