When peers post inappropriate content online

Watch Video: When peers post inappropriate content online by Mary Kay Hoal, ...
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When peers post inappropriate content online

When your child's friends post inappropriate content about themselves online, be prepared that because your responsibility is to reach out to the other parent and let them know what happened. Be prepared for the fact that the news might not be accepted, and you might get a negative reaction. You have to understand that, often times, particularly when a parent hasn't been involved with what their child is doing online, the first time they see stuff their child is posting; it's often overwhelming. But for the greater good and the potential consequences, it's important that you reach out to that child's parent. If you don't, that child could be expelled from school. They could be kicked off of a sports team. They could lose out on an opportunity to go to college or get a specific job. That child may also not pass a social media background check. The Federal Trade Commission has made it legal to organizations, schools, and universities to do a background check to see what someone has posted for up to seven years. So it really is critically important because what your child is posting at age ten or seventeen or every age in between, be checked and be aware of. It can come back and hurt their future. I recommend that you talk to that parent face-to-face. Let them know that kids make mistakes all the time with social media. Their child is not alone, but because you know that they are a parent, just like you, and they care about their child, you want to let them have the opportunity to know, so they can take down that content and make sure their child bypasses any negative consequences. Then you could consider sharing some of the tools that you use and how you stay up to speed with what your kids are doing online.

Watch Video: When peers post inappropriate content online by Mary Kay Hoal, ...


Expert Bio

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Mary Kay Hoal

Family Internet Safety Expert

Mary Kay Hoal is a nationally recognized expert on children’s online safety. She is the founder and president of Yoursphere Media Inc., which focuses on the family and publishes the kids’ social network Yoursphere.com. Mary Kay also offers parents Internet-safety information and tips at YoursphereForParents.com. She has been profiled on CNN, Fox & Friends, FOX Business, E!, Lifetime TV, ABC News Now, and The Reader's Digest. Mary Kay is also part of the "Web Avenger" team for ABC's 20/20.

In 2012, Mary Kay founded The Yoursphere Media Foundation and Coalition for Internet Safety Education and Reform (FCISER), which is dedicated to creating a network of community educators that provide children, their parents, schools and communities, with the necessary skills, knowledge and tools they need to have a positive and safer digital experience.

Mary Kay has also been published on sites such as DrLaura.com, Yahoo! Shine and ABC News where she's able to reach millions of parents. 


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