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02 December 2021
What Parents and Carers Need to Know About Age-Inappropriate Content

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According to research carried out by the British Board of Film Classification, last year 60% of children had to talk to their parents after viewing something online that had left them feeling uncomfortable, scared or confused. One in seven (13%) teens said that watching content online that they later wish they hadn’t seen is a daily occurrence.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, more than half of the content reported by children featured either violence, hate speech or explicit sexual material. Social media often acts as a gateway to this material: trending topics tend to be seen whether they were searched for or not. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide examines this and other sources of inappropriate online content.

Certain online activities drastically increase the chance of a child seeing upsetting content: joining social networks below the recommended age, using age-inappropriate games or apps; watching live streams; and participating in unmoderated chat groups. A 2021 report by Ofcom, however, found that only 30% of parents set up their children’s devices to block inappropriate content.

As our #WakeUpWednesday guide this week explains, though, screening out unsuitable material is only part of the solution – and not a foolproof one, at that. Some material will eventually slip through the net, so trusted adults also need to feel confident of responding effectively if and when a child does stumble across content which is too adult for them to process by themselves.

To download the guide, please click here.

If you would like more information about joining the Trust, or would like an informal chat about our work, please don’t hesitate to call Professor Michelle Shaw on: 01902 518592. JOIN THE TRUST.