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Viral video prompts internet safety advice

Parents have been urged to be keep an eye on children’s internet activity, following reports yesterday of a particularly disturbing video circulating on social media platforms.

The upsetting video which made national news headlines was reportedly circulating in Orkney. It is understood that some schools contacted parents, urging them to avoid social media entirely to allow for the viral video to be removed.

Responding to these reports, a statement from Orkney Islands Council said: “The online world and its ability to expose children and young people to toxic or dangerous content is very alarming. Although not all bad, people have to be alert to the dangers that the internet can pose. One thing that parents can do is be aware and knowledgeable about internet safety, and the platforms their children are using to help keep them safer online.

“Community Learning and Development have delivered internet safety advice and training for parents and carers across Orkney, and are on hand with advice, useful materials and support. If you require support please contact CLD at education.leisure@orkney.gov.uk

A Police Scotland statement added: “We are all increasingly living our lives online, communicating with each other, as well as creating, sharing and viewing content via apps and platforms accessible through mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets.

“While the Internet is a great resource, it can also expose us to material we may not wish to see, and which we wouldn’t want children and young people to view.

“Parents and guardians are encouraged to have open and honest conversations with children and young people about their online activities, including how to stay safe. This should extend to encouraging them to talk to a trusted adult if they encounter upsetting material. Adults should also familiarise themselves with the apps which are downloaded and used on devices by youngsters in their care, and be aware how to use in-app features to report inappropriate, offensive, or illegal content.

“More information and links to advice are available on the Police Scotland website – https://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/keep-secure-online/.”