Parents are being urged to learn more about the ‘Letter X’ Snapchat phenomenon sweeping the UK. The craze encourages children to post “the most vile abuse imaginable”.
Concerned mums and dads have already come forward on social media such as Facebook to warn about the dangers. It is thought the Snapchat craze is sweeping classrooms across Britain.
The craze highlights the threats social media can pose for vulnerable and impressionable children and the age-old problem of schoolyard bullying.The cruel new game begins when one child picks a victim. Others then pile in with cruel insults about their weight, appearance and personality. The communication is transmitted using the Snapchat application.
Schoolchildren then compete to come up with the worst possible insults about the victim. Mum Kelli Ponsford shared on Facebook a message from her daughter this afternoon alterting others to the game.
Her daughter had told her in a message: “Basically on Snapchat this photo saying ‘send me X and I’ll give you a name and you can slag them off’ is going around and I think it’s absolutely vile.The things that people have said, and like my name’s been put on and its me feel like utter poo but I’ve told the majority not to put my name because it’s vile I hate it so much.”
How to keep safe online
- Check your privacy settings to choose who can send you Snaps and view your Stories.
- If you experience harassment or bullying, block the person and report it to Snapchat. You can also check out NetSmartz for information on cyberbullying.
- Talk to your children about using Snap chat and to tell a trusted person when they experience bullying or harassment
- If you or someone else you know has been threatened with physical harm, report this to the police on 101 or 999.
- See the Internet Watch Foundation information keeping Snapchat safe- https://www.internetmatters.org/hub/guidance/snapchat-safety-a-how-to-guide-for-parents/
For more information about our work, please visit www.safeinwarwickshire.com/cybercrime
Cyber Aware is a cross-government campaign, funded by the National Cyber Security Programme. They aim to measurably and significantly improve the online safety behaviour and confidence of consumers and small businesses (SMEs).
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems