The Internet is a cruel and unforgiving wasteland where dreams go to die. Want proof? According to new research, 16.3% of Australian parents blame the internet for their children discovering that Santa is not real.
On behalf of VPN provider Hide My Ass, Censuswide surveyed 2,004 parents of children born between 1983 and 2013 in an effort to find out how and when their children discovered the truth about Santa Claus.
What the results showed were that more and more children (16.3%) are discovering that Santa isn't real via the Internet and they're doing so at a younger age.
According to Hide My Ass's survey, the prior generation discovered the truth about Santa at an average age of 8.59 years, whereas those born in the last 20 years realised Saint Nick was a fraud at an average age of 6.5 years old.
So who is to blame for this yuletide atrocity? 44.4% parents say targeted online advertising was the main snitch. The parents said their children found it quite suspicious that the exact gifts they had asked for from Santa would be shoved in their faces every single time they browsed the net. Clever kids. Second to that, 38% of parents reported their children had simply Googled it for validity, and of course, Google gave them the skinny.
VPN provider Hide My Ass, the company that commissioned the research has created Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox extensions called Keep Believing in Santa that shut down any page that reeks of Christmas magic sabotage.
If your children type anything in relation to Santa Claus (like is Santa Claus real?) into Google, they will immediately be shut down and presented with an image of the man himself (above).
We tested out the Keep Believing plug-in and can vouch for its legitimacy. We tried various keyword combinations, like Is Santa real? or The History of Santa Claus and were denied access each time, no closer to digging up dirt on old Kringle.
Hilariously, he also popped up when we searched the terms Voldemort and I have a debilitating fear of Santa Claus. We'll leave you to ponder on why that might be.