Contacting the National Crime Agency CEOP Command
For LGBTQ+ children and young people, connecting and sharing online can be a vital way to interact with peers, educate themselves and find solutions to issues that friends or family may not understand. However, there are also areas of risk for young people within the LGBTQ+ community when interacting online.
The threat of being exposed to dangerous or harmful hate speech online increases exponentially for transgender people, with 1.5 million transphobic tweets published over the course of a three and a half year period. [Source Exposed: The Scale of Transphobia Online, Ditch the Label, 2019). With the threat of witnessing hate speech comes the added threat of transphobic cyberbullying (bullying based on prejudice or negative attitudes, views or beliefs about trans people)
It is important to be aware that:
This report summarises the findings of the workshops and extensive consultation that we carried out with young people, parents, carers, and teachers to help us to create the Connecting Safely Online hub.
The importance of social media in maintaining relationships
Vital roles of online resources and groups to support wellbeing
Social media has become a part of growing up. Although there are many clear benefits to connecting and sharing with others online, especially for minority groups of children and young people, there are some things that can be done to protect them from the risks outlined in this resource.
Opening a conversation with them about social media use is the best way to start communicating about what they should be aware of, what you expect from each other to help them stay safe online.
There are lots of things you can do to help your child stay safe online, and build their own healthy online habits that will help them in the future.
It can be difficult for LGBTQ+ children and young people to understand what classifies as oversharing online, especially given that so much of children and young people’s lives are played out in an online space. But sharing too much personal information can put your child in danger.
They may not be aware of the amount of hate speech they might see on social media. Even though research by anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label found that homophobic hate speech was eight times less likely on social media than general discussions about homophobia, they might still be exposed to this, and you should be prepared to discuss this with them.
Cyberbullying can also take the form of an exploitative relationship which is usually done by someone your child or young person knows very well. It relies on a person knowing to target your child’s triggers to bait them into doing something or getting angry or upset for their entertainment.
However, LGBTQ+ young people often find themselves targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 2 in 5 have been the target of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse online. In particular, nearly 3 in 5 trans young people have received this abuse online. [Source:Stonewall School Report, 2017].
Making the internet safer and more inclusive
Together with SWGfL we've created this hub to provide online safety advice and gudience to support parents & professionals working with children and young people experiencing vulnerabilities