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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

5 Things You Should Know About Dangerous Online Communities

Most U.S. tweens, 10 to 12 year olds, have at least one social media account. Facebook is the most popular platform among tweens. Although the site says users must be at least 13 years old to log on, 85 percent of tweens said they have an account and a similar number admit they use it every day.

Many go online without any supervision from their parents, according to a survey released on Tuesday. Since these young and impressinable children are online, unsupervised, we would like to share what is out there... besides sexual predators.
  1. Dangerous communities are prevalent on even the most popular social media sites. Last year, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr all banned self-harm content that encourages eating disorders, self-mutilation, and suicide.
  2. After the recent suicide of this teen, many in the UK called for the government to ban websites promoting suicide.
  3. Are pro-ana communities as bad as they seem to be? This researcher says maybe not.
  4. Self-harm is not the only dangerous content online. Some police officers say kids as young as nine have been recruited to join street gangs on Facebook.
  5. Keeping an open dialogue with children is one of the best ways to prevent them from seeking dangerous advice online. Read this article from NetSmartz for tips on talking to them about this issue.
“Harmful sites, such as pro-ana (anorexia nervosa) or pro-mia (bulimia nervosa) sites, are as prevalent as the problems they reflect. A key skill for youth to remaining healthy in the digital era is to become critical media consumers who are able to protect themselves from seductive, but dangerous attitudes and beliefs.” - Michael Rich, MD, MPH, Director, Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH).

In recognition of Internet Safety Month, CQI will be posting a series of blog post about online safety issues and ways you can keep you family safer on the when engaging in online activities. Stay tuned!

Did you know CQI staff is available to make presentations in the Silicon Valley (CA)? Our subject matter experts will present to schools, parent groups, companies, civic and non-profit groups, profession and faith-based organizations about Online and Personal Safety. Contact us at with the subject line “PRESENTATION"

Written & Edited by Anthony Gonzalez for Child Quest International

Related Articles:
A Survivor’s Account of Abduction and Exploitation
Cyberbullying & Protecting Your Child
June is Internet Safety Month

1 comment:

  1. Well said and i am fully agree with you.Definitely. This blog rocks. I love the humour in it, and the information that comes. Thanks for sticking around, man!