A razor-toothed teddy bear character, known as Huggy Wuggy, has been appearing in videos that could upset younger children. While there is no need for panic, police have been warning parents and schools to be vigilant of younger children engaging with the now-viral social media character.
Most schools should have robust filtering and reporting systems to help understand student online activities. These systems should be used to determine if the videos are circulating in your school and which students are impacted. The video below provides advice on things to consider when looking into these systems.
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The videos have slipped through the filters on YouTube and TikTok due to their innocent name and malicious creators are also deliberately hiding scary scenes of the character in content aimed at children, meaning young children are viewing the clips. There have also been reports that students are recreating the game in the school playground, imitating the characters’ actions and whispering scary dialogue in other students’ ears.
Below is our cyber expert-led advice for schools dealing with viral and potentially harmful content.
Monitor for which students may be searching for or viewing the potentially harmful content. Use your filtering tools to block the video-sharing platform TikTok and carefully monitor any use of YouTube for education. Ensure to regularly review your filtering data and make ongoing adjustments to minimise access to harmful content.
Provide students with information about sensationalised content and attempt to calm any fear by letting them know there is no need to worry.
Empower students by encouraging them to search for content that is positive for them, and teach them how to report content that they don't like or that concerns them.
Regularly share online safety information and advice with your whole school community to help create a culture of online safety.
For Linewize schools with an Online Safety Hub, we suggest you take the opportunity to share this resource with your parent community to support parents in managing online safety issues at home.
Topics: Cyber Safety, online safety, huggy wuggy, viral content
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