Find out how to report online concerns.
Some useful facts...
- Young people don't tend to report online concerns to adults
- The majority of young people who have been the target of online abuse will not inform a parent or trusted adult
- Social Networking Sites do investigate concerns that are reported to them
- An Garda Siochana do investigate reports of illegal online content
- There are supports for people who come across online content/behaviour that is offensive and/or illegal
“Please do not ignore Internet content that you suspect to be illegal, report it so action can be taken - otherwise we may never know it is there.”
Most Youth Organisations have structures in place to support the reporting of any concerns they have regarding the protection and welfare of a child or young person. These structures should also be open to the children and young people themselves to be able to report concerns they have about themselves or their peers.
The same applies when it comes to reporting concerns for online interaction. The reporting structures for offline concerns can provide an appropriate way to receive online concerns too. Youth Organisations that work with children and young people online should have their Designated Liaison Person in place to receive all protection and welfare concerns that are related to the online work and be familiar with the type of online work that is taking place there.
STRUCTURE FOR INTERNAL REPORTING OF ONLINE BEHAVIOUR
Concern of inappropriate behaviour raised by young person/worker or other
--> Concern recorded and reported to DLP/Senior Youth Worker/Manager
--> Concern assessed by DLP to determine appropriate actions
--> Possible actions could include reporting to An Garda Siochana, speaking with Parents and Senior Management/Board of Directors of the youth organisation
--> Depending on the nature of the concern the welfare of the young person needs to be managed by the DLP and the other issues relating to the concern may require Senior Management intervention and ongoing support
EXTERNAL REPORTING OF ONLINE BEHAVIOUR
There are some websites that have been designed to facilitate anyone to report a concern that they have come across online. The following chart provides an outline of some of the services that currently exist.
The hotline.ie service provides an anonymous facility for the public to report suspected illegal content encountered on the Internet, in a secure and confidential way. Whilst the primary focus of the Hotline remains Child Pornography, other forms of illegal material do exist on the Internet and may be reported using this service.
Please do not ignore Internet content that you suspect to be illegal, report it so action can be taken - otherwise we may never know it is there.
Childline Online provides an online service where young people under 18 years of age can send a message of help to a trained person who will support them to access supports if necessary but most of all will provide a listening ear by leaving a message, chatting with someone live, sending an email or text.
24-7 service that provides access to trained people who can respond to any concerns. Promote this to young people.
Social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter have report functions built in to their products. Check out the help function on their menu for guidance on how to report abuse or inappropriate content.
Sometimes they are slow to remove offensive remarks or comments so it is important to be persistent with them to ensure they are removed if deemed offensive.
Webwise.ie provides useful information on what to look out for and how to report it.
This is written as a youth friendly resource so it should be promoted to young people.