Online Safety Update 6th May 2019

Children and Social Media (privacy settings)

Last week I was at a wonderful school speaking to Y3 and 4 children. As part of the talk with the children, the subject of social media and privacy settings came up. One Y3 child stated that she wasn’t allowed to set her Instagram account to private, she said “my mum says the more I post, the more likes I get and the more followers I get and we can make money.”

This isn’t anything new, but I am starting to see and hear more about it and if I’m honest I’m not sure how I feel about it, I need to give it some more thought. We see celebrities and so-called influencers doing this quite often, sometimes creating a social media presence before the child is born. Some families are making a living out of this. I’ve heard people call this a form of child exploitation and others say it’s just the way things are now; these things are never simple, but I do worry for those children and the immense pressure that will be put on them.

I mention it here simply because I am hearing more of this, so just keep your ears open and I might do a more in-depth opinion piece in the next DITTO magazine.

SELMA – Hacking Hate

SELMA is a collection of principles, methods and practices to enable stakeholders to work on online hate speech with 11-to-16-year-old teenagers. Due out in Spring 2019 it is a toolkit allowing schools to empower young people and tackle online hate. I’m really looking forward to seeing this and would advise you keep an eye on the SELMA web page to keep up to date for when it is coming.

Piksa App

Oh good, yet another ‘anonymous’ app (similar to Telonym and Sarahah) where, according to the app developers, you can ‘ask things you never dared before’ and ‘get tons of honest messages’.

Piksa appears to be quite a new social media app which connects with a Snapchat profile. I’m not hearing anything about it yet, however it is number 10 in the Apple App Store as I write this (there’s also a version for Android).

I despise these types of apps and I think their developers really need to get a grip on their own moral compass.


In the first 3 months of 2019, ten thousand YouTube moderators manually reviewed a million videos suspected of being related to terrorism. Of those, 90,000 were removed from the platform. It appears the algorithm that YouTube is using is getting better but begs the question whether 10,000 moderators around the world is enough given the scale of content continually being uploaded to YouTube.

Free Resources (books) for Primary

Children love a story and when I’m speaking to the younger children I love to read a story to them as part of the lesson. There are tons of books out there, here’s  three you may not have seen before (and they’re free to download).