Focus at Four: Social media safety for kids, teens

KBTX First News at Four EXTENDED(Recurring)
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 11:47 AM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - A video by the safety company, Bark Technologies’ is gaining traction across social media.

The TikTok video was created in just under a minute and shows parents how quickly a 42-year-old woman can turn herself into a 16-year-old girl using social media filters.

Bark has a goal of educating families about different ways predators lure children online and what they need to be on the lookout for when it comes to their kid’s screen time.

“We do that by connecting our tech to children’s devices, accounts, social media, text messages, email, and smartphones,” said Titania Jordan, Chief Parenting Office of Bark Technologies. “Our algorithm scans for dangers and sends alerts when we stumble upon a potential issue, and then gives parents best-recommended steps about how to address it.”

Jordan said that many kids might be afraid to speak up if they get a weird message or engagement on their digital devices.

“The first thing they think their parents are going to do is take it away or your grounded and can’t have access to that anymore,” said Jordan. “They don’t want you to take away that access. So promise them that you don’t won’t freak out and it’s not their fault and you can be a safe place for them.”

You can watch our full interview with Bark in the video player above.

TikTok does provide a Guardian’s Guide on its website for families and caregivers. The guide provides general information on common internet safety concerns, according to the company.