Child protection on the Internet

Today, the Internet offers new perspectives for meeting spaces for many young people and children. It is not always easy to have a complete overview of all the opportunities, especially for parents. Some parents may be worried about how to protect their children against attacks by radical groups.

 

Here you will find some information on how to recognize extremist content on the Internet and how to sensitize your child to dealing critically with potentially radical online content – even if it initially seems inconspicuous.

Firstly, common ideas must be rethought, for example the idea that right-wing extremist groups only deal with "typically right" topics and contents. It is usually the other way around - they look for content and subject areas that are (often also for young people) widely concerned in society and which may be actively and intensively discussed. Often, opinions are presented here that are emotional and met with broad approval in society.

 

Radical groups attempt to spread extreme opinions in disguise and make them appear socially acceptable and normal. It is not uncommon, that in this way also misinformation is spread or historical events distorted. These are strategies to create ill feelings towards minorities. Additionally, pages of extremist groups are usually designed very professionally to make a serious impression.

 

Therefore, it remains inevitable to accurately check posts or websites - if possible together with your child – to determine whether the source of information and the page is reliable and what source this information is based on.

How can I protect myself and my child?

It is crucial to give your child support and enable them to tell apart:

  • Which information is real?

  • Which is not?

A basic building block is to...

  • talk to your child about what is going on in the world already at an early age and

  • encourage them to develop a differentiated perspective on these events and information.

The key element is to question information and to be able to classify and differentiate opinions and news. It should also be clearly stated that there are people who specifically disseminate misinformation (e.g. for the purpose of making money or influencing opinions). It is important to remain critical - even if information has already been shared often (e.g. via social media) or if a page appears serious at first glance - neither is evidence that the information presented must be true.

 

For more advice see https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/

You can report any concern at https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/

 

For further information please see this Youtube video.