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The Full Story

LET THEM BE KIDS CAMPAIGN

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Why this matters.

 Excerpted from the Newscorp campaign and news stories:

 

"A generation of children is being lost to the billion-dollar social media giants because they are putting profits before people. In Australia, youth suicide and mental health rates are skyrocketing. The number of children diagnosed with an eating disorder is up 200 per cent.

 

And an increasing number are suffering loneliness, sleep deprivation and reduced social skills. Experts say that is because of a fundamental change in the lives of children in the last 10 years - the utter explosion of social media use.

 

Parents are losing the fight against these platforms who continue to knowingly expose children to harmful content that is affecting their mental and physical health.We must protect our children.

 

And that is why we are campaigning for the federal government to act and raise the age that children can access social media from 13 to 16.

 

Experts in mental health, child advocacy and child protection are behind us. Importantly, parents who are grieving the loss of their children because of what they were exposed to on social media also offer their support.

 

So let's stop the scourge of social media and 'Let Them Be Kids' giving back three years of precious childhood.

WHAT PARENTS SAY

“It quickly overtook all her spare time. She was messaging in bed, making calls til midnight and this was when she was still in primary school.

Dani Elachi, Founder of the Heads Up Alliance and a father of 5

 

"It's horrifying and we certainly need additional safeguards to protect our kids. I think the age should be raised to 16. I just feel that the kids, they're not children and they're not adults, the tweens, they are the vulnerable ones because they believe what they hear, what they see on the net. Bruce and Denise Morcombe“

 

Social media is a ‘cancer’ that has claimed too many kids’ lives.”Ali Halkic, his son Allem was 17 when he took his own life after being bullied on Facebook“

 

Courtney shouldn’t have been able to upload over 500 photos to her Instagram account, where the keyboard warriors were commenting on her self-harming photos, telling her to cut deeper; show more blood; go ahead and kill yourself; all of which affected her mental health,” Ness Love, her daughter Courtney, 15, took her own life after being told to by trolls on Instagram"I would still be able to wrap my arms around my boy today if it wasn't for social media.

 

''Wayne Holdsworth, his son Mac, 17, took his life after he was the victim of sextortion

 

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY

 

"We need to stop another generation of children from the impacts of being on social media and on their smartphones. We need to protect our kids’ innocence and their childhood."Selena Bartlett, neuroscientist/ author

 

"Age verification is so important. Parents want to be cool parents and they want to say yes to these things. But I say delete the apps. If Zuckerberg switched off his apps a lot of heartbreak and suicide would stop immediately.”Neil Milton, manager of ChildSafe Australia and a father of three

 

“Why are we allowing our children to be brainwashed by algorithms, by people who don’t care about them, by people who have no concern about the wellbeing of those children? Hetty Johnson, founder of Bravehearts

 

“When people used to be bullied it was at school and they could escape it for a few hours at home. Now with 24/7 social media there’s no escape. Kids don’t have the maturity to see the bigger picture, that it will be okay.”Sally Sweeney, head of anti-cyberbully charity Dolly’s Dream

 

“We are totally onboard with this campaign. We are seeing kids as young as seven and eight on social media being exposed to predators and inappropriate advertising. Janet Grima, CEO of Bully Zero

 

"I am very much in favour of delaying access to social media and if there are some restrictions in place then that makes it easier on parents. My son is 10 and there are kids in his class on Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat. He came home from school and asked what Pornhub was. Jen Hoey, founder of Not My Kid, a support group for parents looking to protect their children against the dangers of social media.

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