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What parents need to know about cross-platform sharing of inappropriate content

Anyone can post anything online. It’s simultaneously one of the internet’s most joyous qualities and one of its greatest perils. For every upload that’s heart-warming, helpful or just plain hilarious, you’ll find – unfortunately – an equal amount of content that is shocking, frightening or upsetting … particularly to young eyes and ears. 

 Some of this material is placed deliberately, out of unfathomable malice. More commonly, though, it was created for mature viewers and ended up on a young person’s device by accident or oversight: seeping into child-friendly areas from more adult-oriented corners of the web. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide analyses the possible risks of cross-platform sharing. 

Please see full guide below.

Creepy characters like Slender Man or Huggy Wuggy. Dangerous online challenges. Songs or videos that aren’t suitable for youngsters. When things like these begin trending online, it can be difficult to prevent children accidently stumbling across them – especially if they use a range of platforms, like online games, social media, streaming sites or messaging apps.

A trend can originate in one online space and rapidly spread to other platforms or via chat apps. The frightening Huggy Wuggy character, for instance, first emerged as part of a game on Steam; now there are parody songs on TikTok, videos on YouTube and more than 45,000 results for #huggywuggy on Instagram. 

In the guide, you'll find tips on several potential risks such as accidental exposure, inappropriate language and unsuitable videos. 

This is part of our Online Platforms and Social Media categories.