There has been a lot of hype about different online challenges and it has been difficult for schools to respond because naming these challenges increases the hype and can cause more damage.
It is reported that seemingly innocent videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids have been edited to include scary content and popular Youtubers are also posting ‘reaction videos’ which is creating a lot of hype around this topic.
There is currently a lot of misleading information circulating around the web and whilst the challenges themselves may not be real, the content can be quite distressing for children. The most important thing you can do is to talk to your children regularly about online safety and to build a trusting relationship where they are not afraid to come to you if they come across something inappropriate. Even with strong controls in place, it is sadly a fact that all children will come across something inappropriate at some point and it is really important that they know that you will be there for them, if this happens to them.
If your children talk you about a challenge, it is also important to also discourage them from searching for related content as due to YouTube’s ‘suggested videos’ algorithm, they will undoubtedly come into contact with other content which is age inappropriate.