'Facebook for kids' is launched to make social media safer for children
A new app dubbed 'Facebook' for seven-year-olds has launched in a bid to make social media safer for kids.
The age limit on using sites like Facebook is 13, but four out of five primary school kids have admitted to using social media at least once a day.
Now a former police chief has created a version of the site for younger children from the age of seven.
Go Bubble, from the pupil-led online safety education programme eCadets, lets children chat online with school friends, share jokes, pictures or videos.
But the main difference is that it puts the child’s school at the centre of their social media network.
The school signs its pupils up, with parental approval, and children can safely talk to children in their own class, school, or even with children the same age in schools around the world.
Determined to give parents and teachers the tools to deal with the growing trend of children on social media, former police sergeant and e-safety guru Henry Platten took matters into his own hands by developing the safe platform.
“We need to accept that our kids love social media and will use it no matter what the age limit is, so my view is, don’t ban them, just provide them with a safe alternative that has all of the up sides but none of the down sides,” said Henry, founder of the multi-award winning eCadets. "Go Bubble is that safe alternative."
Go Bubble puts an end to unwanted friend requests, dubious content and the potential for cyber-bullying - allowing children to take advantage of the best bits of social media without any of the negative aspects.
All posts are automatically moderated through the system’s safety features, ensuring any inappropriate video, images, text, audio or emojis, are removed before going live.
There’s also an award-winning live moderation team who review any flagged messages. And it has been awarded a PEGI 3 rating – the safest age rating available from the governing body (Pan European Gaming Information).
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, who is also the national police lead for social media and digital engagement, who are headline partners in Go Bubble, said: "Young people use social media to talk to each other and it's really important they're able to do so in a safe environment.
"As a social network, Go Bubble is just that, a bubble where children are given all the fun of social media, in complete safety. We look forward to using it to support our education work with under 13s."
Schools are already using the platform to help children collaborate on school projects, learn about new cultures, develop pen pals, teach children about safe social media use, and send parents messages via the site.
The web and app version of Go Bubble is available free to schools. Outside of school, parents and children can access Go Bubble via the web for free or have the option of downloading the app onto their tablet, laptop or mobile device for £3 a year.