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ALERT: You may be aware of a recent BBC investigation into the text and video chat site called “Omegle: Talk to Strangers!” As the name makes clear, this site is not suitable for children.
Although some adults and older teens enjoy Omegle to talk to others about a range of topics, the BBC discovered shocking content including both adults and children inappropriately exposing themselves. The report suggests that younger children may be drawn to the site as a result of Omegle videos being linked to other platforms such as TikTok. As a result of their investigation, TikTok has now banned sharing links with Omegle.
Take care not to mention Omegle to children by name. This could create interest in viewing the site. Have a general discussion about only communicating online with people they know and trust in real life and remind them of the risks of coming across upsetting content during live-streaming. Remind children never to share personal details with people they don’t know online.
Some children may be attracted to the idea of chatting to strangers online. This is the concept behind “Omegle: Talk to Strangers!” It is not suitable for children, but it can sound exciting and daring or they may be encouraged to make risky choices by their peers. Be aware of the risks of Omegle but avoid mentioning it to your child by name.
Have a general conversation about whether they are communicating with others online, about which sites they use, who they speak to and how they know them. Ask them if they or their friends have ever come across inappropriate content online and check that they know to leave a chat straight away and to tell you, if they do. If appropriate for their age, remind them about keeping their personal information private when communicating with those they do not know and of the risks of unexpected content on live-streaming sites. It can help children to tell if know they will receive a sympathetic and supportive reaction from their trusted adults rather than being blamed.
For Gooseberry Schools, you will find lesson plans that address some of the issues relating to fake online information and accompanying parent advice sheets in:
Playground: Sc1 People Online, Sc7 Video Chat
Street: Sc1 People Online
Village: Sc3 Webcam Wise, Sc6, Boundaries
Town: Sc5 Video Chats
City: Sc3 Receiving Images, Sc5 Grooming, Sc8 Sending Images, Sc10 Video Chat
We have updated our Omegle advice sheets on both the Parent App and our Guru platform.
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