What should kids be allowed to discuss when terror strikes?

The amount of hashtagged posts on the Swedish Momio

The amount of #PrayForParis posts on Momio Sweden

When Paris was attacked by terrorists on Friday the 13th of November it was all over media. The hashtag #PrayForParis and supportive pictures were trending on social media. The coverage on traditional media and social media made sure that no-one missed out on what had happened.

Kids react too. On Momio, our social media for kids, the hashtag was used in thousands of posts. The discussions that grown-ups were having also made their way to Momio: “Why do you pray for Paris and not for the people of Syria?”, for instance. That led to other trending hashtags like #PrayForTheWorld.

Picture by artist Jean Jullien

Picture by artist Jean Jullien

It’s important to express feelings

When terror strikes we think it is important that kids have a place to express their worries and feelings. It is OK to be sad, upset and worried. Sometimes social media is a great place to reach out to others and comfort each other, especially in times like these when people all over the world are scared and sad.

Momio is a social platform for kids, and we therefore don’t allow posts or pictures that could scare others. When we remove posts for being too scary or violent we inform why it was removed. Here is what our Momio police officer Jack wrote to kids who posted too scary content about the Paris attacks:
“I had to delete something you posted about the Paris terrorist attacks. The content you posted was too shocking to be on Momio. Many momios are young and don’t know how to deal with those things. It is OK to show your support to the victims and their families, but don’t show any scary material. I hope you understand. If you are very shocked about what happened in Paris, talk to your parents or other grown-ups about it.”

No matter how much kids talk about scary events with each other, the support from parents is priceless. Kids don’t always see the big picture the same way as grown-ups do, and they don’t always know correct information from rumours.

How do you talk to your kids about attacks like the one in Paris? Read our post where a Finnish expert gives some advice for parents when your kid needs support after seeing scary things online. And please, share your own tips and experiences in the comments!

About the author:

Nathalie Seow, watAgame

Nathalie Seow has experience as Swedish Community Manager, Head of Social Media and Community Supporter at watAgame. Her watAgame history goes all the way back to May 2011. She is a social media geek that loves to explore new trends and social communities online. She has a previous career in fashion retail and visual merchandising but can’t think of a better job than working with kids online.