It’s like playing Telephone, except it ends even worse.
If there’s one thing I’ve come to learn about children in the digital age, it’s that they can find anything. Even if you block every conceivable avenue toward adult content, they’ll find a way to get at it anyway, sometimes completely unintentionally. Later in life, I’m sure that will be a very useful skill, but for now, it’s a problem.
Case in point, it’s been discovered that children can gain access to adult content sites through social media apps, specifically Snapchat. Now, Snapchat itself has a bit of a checkered past when it comes to explicit content, but that’s social media for you. It wouldn’t be social media if there weren’t a bunch of smut bots floating around peddling their wares. But according to discoveries made last year, it is more than possible to get to an adult video site through Snapchat in about five clicks. Even if their phone has a parental lock on its web-browser, this all occurs within the Snapchat app itself, so a normal block can’t catch it. This occurs because many adult actors maintain presences on Snapchat, either to advertise their works, or just their personal profiles. Many of these actors have links to sites where one could watch their works, which is how a child could slip into somewhere they shouldn’t be.
So what’s the solution? Well, the obvious one is to delete the Snapchat app from your kid’s phone, but that’s probably going to earn you some complaints. You can block specific website domains through the phone’s settings, but your child may still be able to find naughty bits on other social media platforms. The best course of action is probably to just have an open, frank discussion. Be honest, tell them to be careful about where they go on the internet for their own safety. Forbidding something outright just makes kids want it more.