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Dealing with negative social media

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Started by Tessa Gray 25 Mar 2019 3:52pm () Replies (1)

Christchurch city Last week was a very hard week for our own nation and while our hearts go out to all our whānau and friends in Christchurch, closer to home we’re taking some time to discuss the negative implications of social media on our young people.

Live streaming through Facebook has come under heavy scrutiny recently and while Facebook ‘scrambled’ to remove the horrific footage, one Twitter user said, too late, half of my two classes of children have already seen it. I know of least one 15yr old who viewed the live footage and that teenager’s family is now working through talking about what cannot be unseen

While social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) continues to block the many versions of the video, we need to have conversations with our young people about what is shared, what is seen and how to navigate those space that can violate our viewing - in a matter of seconds. Child development expert Nathan Wallis has some good advice on how to process this harmful and disturbing content (Christchurch shootings: You watched the shocking video but how do you forget it?).

Netsafe has a Christchurch attacks advisory page on this very issue and reminds us that the offensive material is both harmful and in breach of New Zealand Law. While it’s an offence to view or pass on objectionable content, Netsafe also offers their services if anyone is struggling with what they’ve seen (free call or text 1737). 

While the content is online there is some risk that children or young people may come across it. We encourage all parents to proactively discuss with their children what they should do if they come across distressing content online. Further information is available at netsafe.org.nz/upsetting-content/

As educators, we need to look after ourselves and our young people, for more support, see Netsafe’s Harmful content advisory page as well as online resources for schools, Support in the wake of Christchurch.

Image source: Flickr, CC Public Domain Bernard Spragg. The Brill in The Square.Christchurch NZ

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Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship

A group to support schools help their students, staff and whānau become digital citizens