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Social Media, Smartphones, and Your Children

23/05/2018
Social Media Services are a significant part of our digital landscape. Most of us as adults interact with these services on a daily basis - whether using peer-to-peer instant messaging, or through viewing posts in apps that represent people's lives and stories.
More and more our children are also engaging in this landscape. It is important to remember that parents and carers have ultimate responsibility over how our children engage in the digital landscape, and must be aware of not only how, but who kids are interacting with online.
Firstly, the most important safety advice for parents is to ensure you are monitoring your child’s use of any social media platform. Parents should be able to view all content received and sent. This may be as simple as sharing your child's account across devices, and speaking openly with your child regarding why open communication is important at a younger age.
Parents who are concerned about their children’s use of social media and smartphones can check out the ‘Who’s chatting to your kids?’ section of the Queensland Police website for information and advice. Visit www.police.qld.gov.au and follow the links.

At present, we would like to focus on the Social Media App 'Musical.ly'
Musical.ly is a social media platform for creating, sharing and discovering short music videos. The app allows you to record and edit a 15 second music clip and share it with other users.
 
Musical.ly is intended for people over the age of 13, based on the following content warning:
  • Infrequent/mild profanity or crude humour
  • Infrequent/mild sexual content and nudity
  • Infrequent/mild mature/suggestive themes
  • Infrequent/mild cartoon or fantasy violence
  • Infrequent/mild alcohol, tobacco, or drug use or references
Other important information to be aware about when using Music.ly includes:
  • users (aka Musers) can search for other users near their own location/city
  • muser-generated videos can be viewed and shared on other social media and messaging apps. This means, you may lose control of who sees your video
  • musers can comment on other muser’s videos.
By signing up, you agree to comply with Musical.ly’s Terms of Service.
 
The best way to ensure your information is protected is to make sure your security settings are enabled. Go to the ‘Settings’ tab and click on ‘hide location’. This means that another user close by cannot search for you, and you aren’t identifying your location via GPS.
For the highest protection, click on ‘private account’. Go to your profile using the head icon in the lower left corner and click on the gear icon in the upper right corner. Select “settings” and scroll down to the “private account” function. Private account means you will have to approve anyone who wishes to see your musicals and follow you.
When creating a video, be vigilant about the information you share—for example, wearing your school uniform will indicate what school you attend. To block a user/”fan”, go to their profile, press on the “...” in the upper right corner, and select “block this user.” You can unblock a user on the same menu.
To report abuse, click on the three dots (bottom right) of the music clip and select “report abuse”.