Be aware of online tools for reporting abuse.
Consider when to use them.
Talk about why and when to report the abuse.
When meanness and other inappropriate content turn up online, people have options for taking action. In the last activity we talked about the most important one: talking it out with someone you trust. Another option is to report it to the app or service where you found it, which can help get the content deleted. It’s important to get used to using online reporting tools.
Children should get in the habit of taking a screenshot of conversations or activity that’s harmful or suspicious before using blocking and reporting tools (which could make a record of the activity inaccessible). This ensures that trusted adults can see what happened and help resolve this situation.
Figure out how to report a problem
Grab as many devices as your home has access to. Together, find the tools in at least three home-related accounts for reporting inappropriate content or behavior.
Go through the scenarios
Go through the seven situations on the worksheet.
Would you report it?
Ask children to say if they would report the content; then ask them to say if they wouldn’t report it.
If so, why?
There is not just one right answer or approach. Make sure children know this before discussion begins.
Make your children read each scenario below and ask them if they would report it in the app or service where they found it. Let’s them Prepare to explain why they would or wouldn’t report it and explain why they chose that option, then discuss those choices.
There is not one right choice to make, which is why discussion is helpful.
No one should feel bad about what they chose to do. Even adults don’t always know when or how to report.
A student posts a group photo in a public account, and you hate the way you look in it. Would you report that photo or not? How can you respond?
Someone creates an account of a student you know using their name and photo. They turned the photo into a meme and drew a moustache and other weird facial features on it, turning the photo into a joke. Would you report the account or not?
Someone posts lots of mean comments about a student in your school without using their name, but you have a feeling you know who it is. Would you report those comments or not?
A student creates an account with your school’s name in the screen name and posts students’ photos with comments that everybody hears about. Some of the comments are mean to students; some are compliments. Do you report the mean comments, the whole account, or both?
One night, you notice that a student has made a comment online saying they’re going to fight with another student in the lunchroom the next day. Do you report that comment online or not? Do you report it to a teacher or principal the next morning or not? Or both?
You’re watching a cartoon video and all of a sudden there’s some weird content in it that’s definitely not appropriate for kids and makes you feel uncomfortable. Do you report it or not?
You’re playing an online game with friends and someone none of the players know starts chatting with you. They’re not being mean or anything, but you don’t know them. Do you ignore them or report them?
Most apps and services have tools for reporting and/or blocking inappropriate content, and it can help the people involved, their community, and the platforms themselves if we use those tools. Before blocking or reporting inappropriate content, it’s always wise to take a screenshot so that you have a record of the situation.