Online Safety Update 13th May 2019


Teens trying to use ‘ancient’ phone

Let’s start the week off with a smile. The link below is to a YouTube video (2 minutes) of 2 American teenagers trying to use an old analogue phone. I have no idea whether it’s a setup or real, but it certainly brought a smile to my face:

Online abuse: teenagers might not report it because they often don’t see it as a problem
This was a fascinating article I read last week on the website ‘The Conversation’. Written by Holly Powell-Jones, who is a Lecturer in Criminology and Media Law in London who carried out an academic study with 11-18 year olds, giving them different examples of social media posts and asking them how risky they were. The responses are, quite frankly, worrying. It would be interesting to see a much bigger study, and also to see one with adults too as I think many of their responses might be quite similar:

The effects of social media use on teenage life satisfaction are tiny
At last we’re starting to see some good old common sense headlines appearing regarding the use of social media from good, reliable and informed academics. The research team from the University of Oxford (Andrew Przybylski and Amy Orben) studied 12,000 UK adolescents and concluded that most links between life satisfaction and social media use were trivial, accounting for less than 1% of a teenager’s wellbeing.

YOLO App – another anonymous question-asking app doing the rounds.
These types of apps tend to come and go relatively quickly, however YOLO has reached number 1 in the US as it links in directly with Snapchat, so there’s a fairly good chance it’s going to be around for a while. During signup you get a warning that YOLO has “no tolerance for objectionable content or abusive users,” and its in-app flagging and blocking features will ‘protect it from teen misuse’. That’ll work then ?!?

Snapchat has a new gender change filter – boys can be girls and girls can be boys
Why? Just why? My son (who is an adult and very rarely uses Snapchat) sent his Mum and me a Snap using the gender filter and it completely freaked us out. I have no idea the rhyme or reason behind Snapchat creating this, but you can read a highly publicized incident of this going wrong already (link warning: strong language in the text).

Alan Mackenzie