An app, dubbed “Facebook for kids”, is attempting to make social media safer for children.
Facebook states that users must be at least 13 years old to use its platform, but that hasn’t stopped four out of five primary school kids admitting to using social media at least once a day.
Determined to help parents and teachers tackle the issue, former police sergeant and e-safety guru Henry Platten has created Go Bubble – a version of the popular site suitable for children from the age of seven.
The main difference? Go Bubble puts schools at the heart of the social network.
Go Bubble: Facebook for kids
To access the network, parents must give permission to the school to sign its child. Children can then safely talk to other kids in their class and school, or with children the same age in schools around the world.
“We need to accept that our kids love social media and will use it no matter what the age limit is, so my view is, don’t ban them, just provide them with a safe alternative that has all of the up sides but none of the down sides,” said Platten. “Go Bubble is that safe alternative.”
Go Bubble puts an end to unwanted friend requests, dubious content and the potential for cyber-bullying – allowing children to take advantage of the best bits of social media without any of the negative aspects.
All posts on Go Bubble are moderated through the system’s safety features, which filters out any inappropriate videos, images, text, audio or emojis.
To help ensure that nothing nasty slips through the net, an award-winning live moderation team will review any messages that are flagged up.
The social media network has also been awarded a PEGI 3 rating – the safest age rating available from the governing body (Pan European Gaming Information).
Fun of social media in complete safety
He said: “Young people use social media to talk to each other and it’s really important they’re able to do so in a safe environment.
“As a social network, Go Bubble is just that, a bubble where children are given all the fun of social media, in complete safety. We look forward to using it to support our education work with under 13s.”
Schools have already begun to use the network to help children learn about internet safety, collaborate on school projects, make safe pen friends, and send parents messages.
The web and app version of Go Bubble is available free to schools. Outside of school, parents and children can access Go Bubble via the web for free. Alternatively, they can download the app onto their mobile device for £3 a year.