Dealing with sharing risky content

Getting help with risky content incidents

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3. Frequently asked questions (Results)

My child has been sharing dangerous, violent, or hateful content online

This can be very upsetting - try to remain calm but act quickly to limit further damage.

Recommended approach:

  1. Explain to your child in an age-appropriate way why this content can be offensive and may even be illegal or harmful, and that there can be legal consequences.
  2. Act quickly to remove the content to limit further damage, and restrict or privatise your child's account. If it has been shared on other accounts, report the content to the platform so it can be taken down.
  3. Find out where your child has been exposed to this type of content, and whether they are being pressured, coerced, or doing this because they want to fit in. Explain the psychological impact that this can have on them in the future and give them the language around ways to say ‘no’ in situations that are unsafe. Role-playing for children of this age can work well.
  4. Set up parental controls to limit your child’s online experiences to what is appropriate for their age and increase online supervision of your child.
  5. Continue to talk with your child about the experiences we want to have online (positive, entertainment, learning, keeping in touch with friends/family) and about the need to always be safe. Explain to them they can always come to you if they are unsure.
  6. If your child is distressed seek help from a child psychologist.

3. Frequently asked questions (Results)

My child has shared something on social media that could damage their reputation

Try to remain calm but act quickly to try and minimise further damage.

Recommended approach:

  1. Get the full story and try to remove the content to stop it from being shared. You may need to contact the authorities or the social media platform for help or seek legal advice if you are unsure. Consider trying a Google reverse image search to check if images have been posted elsewhere.
  2. Contact your child’s school if they can help minimise the sharing further (note: some schools may have mandatory reporting requirements).
  3. Talk to your child about themes relating to peer pressure, consent, and the consequences of sharing inappropriate content on the internet and your digital reputation. Review your family's technology rules, reinforcing who we’re allowed to speak to and what information is allowed to be shared.
  4. Use technology to install parental controls and reconsider access to social media platforms (check the age recommendations).
  5. Increase online supervision of your child and seek counselling if you or your child is distressed.

NB: it is very important not to record or forward illegal images. Possession of illegal images can be a criminal offence.

My child has been sharing dangerous, violent, or hateful content online

Finding out your child has posted this type of material can be shocking. Try to remain calm but act quickly to limit further damage.

Recommended approach:

  1. Explain to your child, in an age-appropriate way, why this can be offensive and may be illegal and harmful and that there can be legal consequences.
  2. Act quickly to remove the content and, if it has been shared on other accounts, report the content to the platform so it can be taken down.
  3. Find out where your child has been exposed to this type of content, and whether they are being pressured, coerced or doing this because they want to fit in. Explain the psychological impact that this can have on them in the future and give them the language around ways to say ‘no’ in situations that are unsafe. Role-playing for children of this age can work well.
  4. Set up parental controls to limit your child’s online experiences to what is appropriate for their age and increase online supervision of your child.
  5. Make cyber safety a regular talking point in your home, and discuss with your child the experiences we want to have online (positive, entertainment, learning, keeping in touch with friends/family) and about the need to always be safe.
  6. If your child is distressed seek help from a child psychologist and the school.