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Social media risks for people who have learning disabilities

Using social media presents opportunities for people with learning disabilities, but those supporting them must be alert to risks that include cyberbullying and exploitation
Picture shows a young male holding a smartphone. This article reports on a study showing social media presents opportunities for people with learning disabilities, but those supporting them must be alert to risks including cyberbullying and exploitation.

Using social media presents opportunities for people with learning disabilities, but those supporting them must be alert to risks that include cyberbullying and exploitation

A review of papers on the use of social media by people with learning disabilities aged 11-31 found opportunities and concerns about vulnerability.

Positive findings included increased social interaction and participation, but risks included cyberbullying as well as financial and sexual exploitation.

The reviewers said consideration should be given to barriers to social media access, including the ability to read, understand and evaluate online materials.

They also pointed to opportunities to explore and develop a sense of personal identity in a setting

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