– Department for Education media release

A lot of warnings have been issued for children to stay off social media, specifically Tik Tok, due to a graphic self harm video that’s circulating.

While we do recommend that parents monitor their children or keep them off the platform, it’s a band-aid solution for a long-term issue due to the fact that distressing videos constantly circulate online.

Instead we would like to encourage all parents and guardians to -:

1️⃣  . Understand that they will most likely use it, whether you understand the appeal or not. Ask them what apps they use, find out why they like those apps. Start a dialogue so you can start understanding why it’s important to them. The more you understand about it, the more you can stay across it.

2️⃣  . If you know what apps they’re using, help them make their profile as secure as possible, whether it’s TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitch or Reddit (the list is endless). You can do this with the help of this eSafety Commissioner guide: www.esafety.gov.au/key-issues/esafety-guide

3️⃣  . Be open and willing to listen. Make them aware of Kids Helpline Official (1800 55 1800), Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636), headspace (headspace.org.au) and Lifeline (13 11 14) so they know they have a place to contact if they don’t feel comfortable approaching you.

4️⃣  . Kids often create a social media profile that they make visible to you, but keep their actual profile under a fake name hidden from you. Again, this is why we encourage you to talk to your child openly and honestly.

5️⃣  . If your child watches YouTube videos, please be aware there’s no guarantee that this content will be safe for kids. People can easily edit distressing videos for kids that slip through the filters. If you can’t monitor your child on YouTube then let them watch Netflix kids instead as it has stronger filters. SBS and ABC iview are both free alternatives for children’s online content.

ℹ️ The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is a great resource for parents, guardians and kids: www.esafety.gov.au