Many experts advise restricting kids’ social media access to shield their mental health as graphic war content spreads online. They explain how to use platforms’ parental controls.
Concern Over Traumatic Content Impacting Kids
Following recent attacks, disturbing videos of the Israel-Gaza conflict have circulated online. Some companies try limiting these, but much still spreads.
Experts warn exposure can psychologically damage kids. Trauma groups thus recommend monitoring or disabling children’s social media.
Why Children Are Particularly Vulnerable
Psychologists explain kids are more likely to be adversely affected since they have less emotional regulation and comprehension skills. Unexpected graphic material can be especially scarring.
Seeing war content online essentially amounts to a cycle of harm to mental health that parents should mitigate.
An Opportunity to Discuss Social Media Use
Experts suggest families delete social media temporarily to underscore its risks now. If resistant, compromise on restricted time limits and discuss encountering harmful content.
This models open communication, emotional intelligence, and self-regulation around social media amid the crisis.
Actionable Ways Parents Can Restrict Access
Platforms and mobile operating systems offer tools to disable apps, filter content, and monitor use. Key options include:
Built-In Mobile OS Parental Controls
iOS and Android have robust parental control options to restrict app access or usage times. These can limit social media while still permitting communication.
Guardrails Within Social Apps
Many apps now offer parental controls to filter out inappropriate content or words. TikTok’s Family Pairing enables guardians to directly manage kids’ accounts and settings.
Education Hubs on Social Platforms
Resources like Meta’s parental guidance hub provide tips on protecting kids through time limits and content filtering within Instagram, Facebook, and other services.
Supervised Accounts on YouTube
YouTube’s Family Link and supervised account features help parents control viewing habits by blocking content or setting screen time guardrails.
How Social Platforms Are Responding to Crisis Content?
Major social networks outline their efforts to curb traumatic war footage and misinformation:
TikTok Increasing Content Moderation
TikTok says it is dedicating more resources to quickly remove violating violent, hateful, or misleading videos related to the conflict.
Meta Establishing Special Operations Center
Meta has set up a dedicated operations center with experts monitoring 24/7 and responding in Hebrew and Arabic to emerging threats.
YouTube Removing Sensitive Videos
YouTube reports deleting thousands of inappropriate videos and remaining vigilant across platforms as the situation evolves.
The Israel-Gaza crisis underscores the duty of parents to safeguard children from traumatic social media content. By judiciously employing platform tools along with open communication, families can protect kids’ wellbeing online while still allowing age-appropriate usage. This empowers children to responsibly build resilience around technology from a young age.