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50 Guernsey Children In 'Harmful' Group Chat

Guernsey Police are investigating a Snapchat group that's allegedly encouraging local children to share indecent images.

Parents in the Bailiwick are being asked to check their children's social media usage, as 'upwards of 50' young islanders were found to be involved in a Snapchat group - using sexual and violent language.

Bailiwick Law Enforcement's Digital Safety Development Officer, Laura Simpson, says their work within schools on internet safety led to a child disclosing the group's existence to a teacher. 

Some group members are believed to be as young as 7, despite Snapchat being a 13+ platform.

Laura says age restrictions need to be respected, as the online environment is not safe for children.

She added that large group chats, in particular, seem to  'spiral' quickly and fuel harmful behaviour:

"That feeling of anonymity, even though it's not true anonymity, means that the children are not engaging with each other how they would perhaps in the real world.

So we are seeing horrible violent sexual language - swearing, homophobia, misogyny, transphobia and even racist language."

Laura had this advice for parents:

"We are regularly hearing from parents whose young people are disclosing things to them at home.

If that is the case, please make sure you are evidencing this in some way, that would make it much easier for us to help and support you - take screenshots, record, or write down the user names of people who are sharing harmful content."

An investigation into the group chat is ongoing.

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