What are ‘Letter X’ and ‘Yellow’?

June 20, 2017 Published by

 

girl taking photos using her phoneThe Times they are a Changin’

Like the Internet, the ever-growing world of social media is changing all the time and it is difficult, as parents, to keep up with it.  Children are immersed in this world; whether or not we, as parents, like it and approve of it, it is part of growing up in today’s society.

It can help to be aware of the social networks our children are part of, and how they might be using them. For starters, There is an app and a ‘game’ that have had some negative coverage recently, that we would like to make our readers aware of.

Yellow app

The first is ‘Yellow’, an app that the NSPCC are calling “Tinder for teens”. Users should to be 13 years old and the terms of service state that if they are under the age of 17, they should have parental permission.   

‘Yellow’ advertises a “free way to make new chat friends”; users swipe right to connect to someone, or left to reject them, based on their profile picture. The NSPCC has raised huge concerns about Yellow as it connects children to strangers through Snapchat and Instagram, so they can share photos with one another. There are also concerns that adults are signing up with a fake age, in order to connect with under 18’s.

Letter X 

The second is a cyber bullying ‘game’ known as Letter X.  The ‘game’ is played through Snapchat and involves targeting one person and posting negative comments about them.   It starts with one member of a group chat sending the letter ‘X’ to another member in a message. The recipient then has to send back the name of someone known to the whole group for all of them to write negative comments about; the comments are anonymous but can be posted publicly for everyone to see.

‘Games’ like this can really affect a child’s self esteem and have a massive impact on their lives, so it is important that children are educated about the effects of cyber bullying.  Sometimes children do things without thinking them through and considering the implications – it’s easy for them to get carried away with their friends.

There are always new apps and forms of cyber bullying popping up, and it’s impossible to constantly know what your child is up to. Even if you take measures like following them on their profile, they can easily create a fake account  It can also be quite daunting to feel like you’re tackling something so unfamiliar.

However, managing their online behaviour is really just like any other parenting. Being open with your child and educating them over the dangers of talking to strangers, or sharing photos that could be seen by anyone, will help protect them regardless of the social network they are using.

If you want to discuss the issue further with your children, or find out more for yourselves, there is lots online; this interview from This Morning is particularly hard hitting and demonstrates the devastating impact cyber bullying can have.

Some useful websites:

NSPCC – Talking to your Child about Staying Safe Online

PixelPrivacy – How to Keep your Children Safe Online

Childnet – How to Have a Conversation with Your Child about the Internet

NSPCC’s  ‘A parents’ guide to being Share Aware’

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This post was written by Claire Gillies

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