Thursday 9 June 2016

5th Graders Banned From YouTube

Yes, this is the news Ebi-kun came home with today!

Obviously he was gutted since he loves doing his Ebi-kun Eats show. From what I can gather, there has been a video uploads of a JH boy kicking/bullying a ES boy in Okinawa and so the schools answer is to give the kids a blanket ban on uploading videos to YouTube.

Well, this mama has a thing or two to say about that!

Firstly, banning the kids from using it You Tube, isn't the answer. 

Education is.

Teach the kids about internet safety, show them how to use it properly and tell them about the dangers. Ebi-kun knows, it has been drilled into him since he was old enough to grasp the concept on the net. I can't stop him from using it (maybe at the moment whilst he is young) but certainly given a couple of years he will be all over it like the average teen.

Next, banning one social media platform is insane!

There are the big players of course, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, all of which can be places to harbour bullying but there are far worse apps and social media platforms out there. 

Calculator% and Audio manager are not what you think they are. They are apps designed to hide things behind a locked screen, you know, photos and other such things that your kids don't want you to see!

Vaulty also hides photos from prying eyes and will take a photo of anyone trying to access the vault!

Snapchat and Burn Note- all the rage. Snapchat will allow you to send video or photo to another person for a set amount of time, then it self-destructs. Yes, very James Bond like. BUT what most kids don't understand is that these images and videos can still be saved/screenshot by the receiver which is how so many snapchat pics and video end up on porn sites labelled as "snap porn"

Burn Note works on the same principle but with text, perfect for a bit of cyber-bullying.

Never put anything on the internet that you don't want to see again because once it is out there, it is out there for good.

Line - more popular in Japan than Facebook, I haven't dabbled but I have heard some horror stories. From my understanding there is a hidden messaging or chat feature and lots on in-app purchases can be made.

Tinder, Omegle and Blendr - all allow strangers to contact each other, no need to spell out the slippery slope that could lead to.

Yik Yak and KiK don't offer parental controls and are renowned for cyber bullying and sexually explicit content. There have been several suicides due to cyber bullying on these platforms and Elizabeth who was encouraged to kill herself, luckily didn't go through with it and has been working for the app to be shut down. You can support her cause here.

I'm sure there are more apps out there that I don't know about, the safest thing is to have your child/teens account on your account so when a new app is downloaded you can see exactly what it is. Better still, don't give them the password so they have to ask permission to download it.

Trust From Both Sides

Now this whole staying safe on the internet thing is a whole new ball game, one that our parents didn't have to figure out. So we are doing the best we can, we want our kids to be safe but we want to be able to trust them to make the right decisions right?

How do we do that?

I am no expert and stepping through this minefield for the first time myself, my plan is to be as honest and open as possible, to explain and show Ebi-kun the dangers but allow him the freedom to explore and use the net to learn. We have a great relationship and I hope that if he is unsure of anything he will come and ask me first.

It's not an easy task and who knows whether it's the right tactic to take, all kids are different so a different tack might be needed for a different kid.

And I really feel that the school should be trying to educate the kids, not ban them from using specific apps/platforms. 

But at the end of the day, I actually upload the videos to YouTube for Ebi-kun, he does everything else, so he isn't breaking the school rules, I am. What are they gonna do? Give me detention? 

I'd love to know what steps you are taking to keep the kids safe on the net. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. That was a wonderful post.


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