There’s a clear need for those reporting on risks and platforms online to continue to learn, review and test the platforms before they publish information.
We know how difficult that can be, even with dedicated teams fact-checking and verifying information. A good working relationship with key social media and online industry outlets is of paramount importance. Here at Ineqe Safeguarding Group, we have two active teams committed to monitoring, testing and reporting on new and existing apps that young people use. Our Safety and Content team spend every day keeping up to date with new apps, existing and emerging trends/threats, as well as new safety features and reporting mechanisms. They are complemented by the Learning, Research and Development Team who carry out behaviour-based research as well as monitoring Serious Case and Practice learning reviews, policy papers, reports and academic studies. Both teams work closely with external partners to make sure we are exposed to challenge but most importantly, that our finger remains firmly ‘on the pulse’.
Their work informs our weekly Safeguarding Hub newsletter and Digital Safeguarding in 60 seconds videos. It also supports the work of our regional safeguarding editorial panels across the UK for the content in our Safer Schools partnership App, which provides up to date safeguarding information, advice and guidance to schools across the country.
My message to parents, carers and safeguarding professionals is this; information sharing is at the heart of how we make our children safer. So, make sure that you fact check the veracity of the source you use and the information they supply. And to be clear, don’t just rely on a search engine or algorithm. Google doesn’t do context and, when it comes to making our children safer, the buck stops with you.