Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, News & Advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

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Written by Corey Tutewiler
on April 17, 2017

Did you notice any peculiar trends on Instagram recently? In efforts to foster a safer, kinder community, tens of thousands of Instagrammers came together a few weeks ago for the Worldwide InstaMeet 15 to share their stories and spread kindness in the world.

Instagram also announced enhancements to their app to promote a safer environment. They’re adding a screen over images and videos with sensitive material, warning users of potentially inappropriate content. While the photos and videos have not been deemed to violate Instagram’s rules or guidelines, they’ve been recognized as sensitive and will require additional action by the end user to be viewed.

Instagram has also added two-factor login authentication, which is available for all users. Additional login security is available by requiring a typed code each time you log in. Be sure to visit instagram-together.com to learn more about their initiatives toward user online safety.

Others have made efforts to foster digital citizenship and online safety as well. Be sure to visit Facebook’s Safety Center for information on its safety policies, tools and resources that are available to the public. A bullying prevention hub, parents’ portal and help center are also available. In particular, I appreciated the page with advice on sharing, friending and reporting, which is an especially great resource for students new to social media.

Twitter has a Safety Center of its own, which is broken down into information on tools available to manage your use of Twitter, explanations of the policies in place to protect users, and information on how Twitter professionals review accounts reported as abusive. Twitter provides separate resources for teens, families and educators. Twitter’s educational page is a great place to gather ideas about how to interact with your students on social media.

There is much more helpful information available on all three sites, so be sure to explore them for yourself. We laud all efforts to create safer online environments and kinder communities, and hope they continue to promote values aligned with digital citizenship.

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