Momo, mobile phones and communication
There is currently a lot of talk around a “phenomenon” called Momo. It is very similar to one that was previously called “Blue Whale”. Through WhatsApp and SnapChat children are set challenges. They often start off simply but then build and build until they are dangerous, and usually, around self-harm.
PLEASE speak to your children about this, and the responsible use of phones.
We would beg you to make sure that they do not have apps that they are considered under age for, e.g. SnapChat, Facebook and so on. That apps they do access such as WhatsApp are closely supervised.
Children are often “Up to speed” on all the latest things but in school we have regular eSafety lessons and West Yorkshire Police come in to deliver sessions too. Whenever there is something new that we hear about, we contact the police and ask them to come back in.
We have also heard about children handing out each other’s mobile phone numbers to others. Please discuss the dangers of this with your child. Finally, some children have had messages on SanpChat to meet their friends in the park at a certain time and then the friends haven’t gone. Again, please speak to your children.
Technology is moving fast. Sometimes it is easy to think we know what apps children are on. It is highly likely that we don’t. Please keep up to date by regularly checking the Safer Use of Technologies section of our website, as well as the pages below. And above all, please speak to your children about how to keep themselves, and their friends, safe in a digital world. This is something that we are constantly doing as a school.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/09/03/momo-suicide-challenge-blamed-deaths-two-children/ – a newspaper report in “The Daily Telegraph” about the Momo Challenge.
https://www.net-aware.org.uk/networks/?order=title – this website is a review site, by the NSPCC, that will give you a safety overview of apps / websites and how to help your child use them safely
https://www.wilsdenprimary.co.uk/learning/safer-ues-technologies/ – our Safer Use of Technologies landing page, with some important links
https://www.wilsdenprimary.co.uk/learning/safer-ues-technologies/esafety-parent-info/ – a regular blog by CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection)
https://www.wilsdenprimary.co.uk/learning/safer-ues-technologies/esafety-updates/ – the place on our website where we put eSafety updates
Currently the most popular free app on the App Store in the US, having been downloaded almost 80 million times, this Chinese video app, TikTok, has also recently taken over Music.aly and is growing in popularity here in the UK.
A platform for creating and sharing entertaining short-form video content (15 seconds), as well as live broadcasting, users typically post short, comical videos of themselves lip-syncing to a song or film-clip.
BE AWARE: as with Houseparty, with no system in place to verify a user’s age, inappropriate content (often popular music that does contain explicit language) can and does appear in the stream.
While privacy settings allow users to decide whether other users can upload and comment on content, when these aren’t selected videos can end up in open forums (e.g. Instagram) and attract negative comments which can ultimately impact mental wellbeing.
New app may put primary school children at risk
Research carried out by Barnardo’s has highlighted concerns about Facebook’s new Messenger Kids app which is due to be launched soon in the UK.
It will allow children as young as six to communicate either in groups or one-to-one, using text messages, video calls and photos, which has raised concerns that children could be at risk from grooming, sexting and online bullying.
The charity commissioned a YouGov survey of 997 parents, asking for their views about the app. Ninety per cent of parents said that they were concerned about their children using the new app. 61 per cent said they were worried that strangers would be able to pose as their children’s friends on the app.
Source: Barnardo’s Date: 27 February 2018
Parent guide to YouTube restrictions
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