Schools Advice Jewish Parents To Delete Social Media Apps On Kids Phones

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Some Jewish parents have been told by schools to delete social media from their children’s phones in the wake of the Israel-Gaza war. One of the main concerns is over possible hostage videos being shared which they allege could cause distress and trauma. The warnings are circulating not just in Israel itself but also in the US and UK – with some singling out TikTok and Instagram in particular. A number of schools in Tel Aviv have been communicating the message to parents since the weekend as Footage of civilians being killed has been shared online.

A Tel Aviv school’s parent association said that it has been told to expect a video of hostages “begging for their lives. We cannot allow our kids to watch this stuff. It is also difficult, furthermore – impossible – to contain all this content on social media” it said in a note to parents.

David Lange, who runs the Israeli advocacy group Israellycool, told news men his daughter’s school had communicated the message on a parents WhatsApp group, encouraging parents to delete TikTok from their children’s phones. Other Jewish organisations have advised parents to monitor their children’s online activity to mitigate exposure to the violence.

A school in New York said it was encouraging parents to monitor their social media usage and to “discuss how to avoid opening these videos, and what to do should they encounter such media.” Social media has been flooded with graphic and disturbing images and videos since the attacks began. This approach has been echoed by some schools in the UK. One of the leading Jewish schools in the country said that the use of social media is “a difficult, delicate matter” because pupils are using the platforms all the time. Instead of an outright ban, they have encouraged parents to talk to their children about the content they are seeing. “I think this always applies but particularly at the moment where what they are seeing might be very distressing,” they said over email.

The UK’s technology secretary earlier met with the bosses of social media companies Google, Meta, X, TikTok, and Snapchat where she asked the platforms to clearly set out what action they were taking to remove illegal material that breaches their terms and conditions.

 

 

 

 

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