A colourful Beyoncé cradling her 1-month-old twins. Picture: Instagram

London - Beyonce might be happy to publish pictures with her new-born twins – but more than half of parents refuse to share photos of their children on social media.

Nearly nine in ten of such parents say they want to protect the privacy of their offspring.

And seven in ten said it would be inappropriate to share details of their children’s lives online, while four out of ten claimed their children would openly object. The findings follow growing criticism of parents who post pictures of their children on social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook – a practice dubbed "sharenting".

Singer Beyonce posted an Instagram picture of herself posing with her twins, Sir and Rumi, last month when they were just a few weeks old.

The ostentatious shot went viral and was liked 700 000 times within the first half hour alone.

But last month, Atonement actress Romola Garai called for parents who invade their children’s privacy to be prosecuted.

"The privacy of children is invaded on a catastrophic scale… I think we’ll look back at this period as utterly perverse. It should be illegal to post pictures of children without their permission," she said.

And Vicki Shotbolt, the head of online parenting charity, Parent Zone, has lambasted "mummy bloggers" for "sharing too many pictures of their children". However, more than four in ten parents are still happy to post pictures of their children, the Ofcom Communications Market Report found.

Just over half of the parents who post pictures of their children online say they have the approval of their offspring, according to Ofcom. And 85 percent say they are careful about who can access the pictures.