CYBER-BULLIES would be banned from social media and slapped with an online version of an apprehended violence order as part of a radical plan to stop trolls.
Anti-bullying charities are using a powerful parliamentary inquiry to call for a criminalisation of trolling — including giving child cyber-bullies a social media order (SMO) that would ban them from contacting their victims and using sites such as Facebook and Instagram.
It comes after 14-year-old Amy “Dolly” Everett took her own life on January 3 after being targeted by bullies online.
Cyber-safety expert Ross Bark, who runs education courses across NSW through his company Best Enemies, agreed the creation of an “SMO” would be helpful.
“It would be useful to be able to ban offenders from Facebook, Instagram and social media but it would need to be coupled with education so they can actually learn the very real effect they are having on their victims,” Mr Bark said.
The summer holidays are peak internet season for families – but parents have been warned about a trend of violent, graphic cartoons specifically designed to target children.
The cartoons feature beloved children’s characters such as Peppa Pig, Spider-Man and Elsa from Frozen, but feature gruesome acts including murder, cannibalism and pornography.
“Your child could be viewing the Peppa Pig video which could be a proper video, and in one second they could be watching something completely inappropriate, which they think is the same thing,” Cyber Expert Ross Bark told A Current Affair.
PRIMARY school students making the transition to high school need to be given extra support from teachers and parents to stop episodes of anxiety and depression being triggered by the upheaval.
Ross Bark runs programs across NSW helping children make the switch from primary to high school.
“Students face a lot of anxiety about this time period which can spiral into more serious issues. In primary school they’ve developed an established group of friends and understand how they fit into those groups, so the change can be overwhelming for a young person.” he said.
Parents would like to think they know what their children and teenagers are up to on their smartphones. But the truth is, they rarely do. In a world hooked on social media apps, online predators easily connect with millions of minors, literally at their fingertips within seconds.
See my comments from tonights A Current Affair. This is a must see – particularly for parents with teens and young children.
Cyber safety expert Ross Bark runs courses in schools across NSW and had encountered cases of Year 5 and 6 students who were being sent links to violent material on Snapchat by people believed to be extremists.
More than 2400 young people aged 12-17 years old were surveyed by the eSafety Commission for the research, which showed one in three Australian children have been exposed to terrorist propaganda online, with disturbing reports that primary school students are being sent videos of beheadings by jihadis on social media.
The research also showed that one in four young people have been the target of online bullying. Young people from culturally diverse backgrounds were the most likely to be targets of online hate.
“Children are being exposed to violent propaganda and that includes beheadings,” Mr Bark said. “The problem is they’re accepting friend requests from people they don’t know on Snapchat who are sending them links to very violent content.”
About two weeks ago, Sarah (not her real name) was carrying out a random check of her 12-year-old daughter’s iPad — as she does regularly with all the devices her kids use — when she stopped in horror.
In about five separate conversations, men, claiming to be 23 and 25 years old, had been seeking information from her 12-year-old daughter, asking where she lived and how they could meet her. Then there were the pictures. Vulgar images and videos sent through the app.
Cyber safety expert Ross Bark was shocked, but not surprised to hear of what had happened to the 12-year-old girl. “What I’ve seen is a lot of young people are getting on there to talk to their friends, but they get messages from random people, and they don’t really know what to do, and they’re not confident telling an adult about it,” he said.
Cyber-safety expert Ross Bark said while in the past when most families had one TV it was easy for parents to monitor what their children were watching, it was tougher to monitor kids when they had their own devices.
”This is why parents need to take an active role in checking what their children are watching and actively monitoring their devices, rather than assuming everything is appropriately classified,” he said.
“There is no sort of security password or pin for accessing adult profiles. And that doesn’t seem to be a problem Netflix has done anything to fix,” Mr Bark said.