A 13 year old Scottish school boy, Ben McKenzie took his own life as a result of being bullied online it was reported this week. MP Paul Masterson described the young man’s experience online, as a campaign of cruel online abuse. On the 1st of October 2018, Ben was found dead at home, a victim and one of growing number of young people who have suffered as a direct result of their interactions with others online.Parents are left with the question, what can they do?
Recently WhatsApp was identified as a platform children use, both directly and indirectly to cyberbully other children. The results of the survey of 2000 parents, carried out by Internet Matters a UK based online child safety organisation, revealed 8 out of every 10 parents expressed concern regarding closed messaging groups. These group chats are sometimes used to share images, or content about others. Many parents may not be aware you can link a WhatsApp mobile account to a PC
It will have come as a shock to many this week, to see a young 24-year-old Dublin woman charged with the defilement of a child, a teenage boy. This is something we have not really seen in Ireland up to now. A very young woman, who if convicted of the alleged offence, will be registered Sex Offender. The reported allegations involve a student from the school she worked in, who was under 17.
The use of Anonymity Apps are on the rise again, with Irish teens installing and using an App called Tellonym. From the outset we are issuing a strong warning to parents, check younger children’s devices to see if they are using this App or, if they are receiving messages on their Social Media from their own contacts or other people using this App. It is also really important to discuss the use of this App with teens and young adults. We would strongly advise, both children and teens do not use this App.
Today we would like to discuss, how harmful it can be for children to share inappropriate images of themselves, with others when using their devices. Incredibly we have found that children in Irish Primary Schools in 5th and 6th class, are very aware of this behaviour. What some children can believe is a just a funny image or photo of themselves, can have really serious long negative effects if shared with others.