This recent message from Samgladiator, a popular Minecraft YouTuber, is a perfect example of why it is so important for kids to be aware of who they are communicating with online.
If we choose to allow our kids onto the playground that is the WORLD WIDE WEB, it is our job as parents to make our best effort to get involved and help them. We cannot just take their word for it. Believe me, I know it can be overwhelming and time consuming however, with the headlines being what they are today, it is important to educate ourselves.
My daughter Sophie is a huge fan of Minecraft and Samgladiator. Last night she sent me this text:
Sam created the video after finding out that someone was impersonating him online, even going so far as luring kids in an attempt to meet up with them in person.
A big part of my “Very Social Presentation” to kids and parents focuses on being aware of who you connect with online. We talk a lot about why it is important, especially at a young age, to avoid being connected with people you don’t know ‘IRL’ (In Real Life). Children are, by nature, trusting and often don’t comprehend how easy it is for anyone to pretend to be someone they’re not… and there is no one standing in a virtual entryway checking photo ID’s. We talk about how to identify “verified” accounts vs. “fan” or fake accounts. Typically, unless an account is verified – usually with a little blue checkmark (example from Twitter below) – there is no way to be sure.
I think the message Sam sends is made more powerful by the fact that it is coming directly and very personally from him. I like that he also shows examples of the ways in which the imposter was attempting to communicate with his fans, asking them to sign up for role play groups and telling them they could be part of the Samgladiator crew. It is disturbing to say the least.
Whether your kids are into Minecraft or not, this is indeed a universal and very important message. Please watch and share!
Thanks for stopping by,
xo Jen “J.J.”