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  • Dean Smith

A Safe Approach to the Twitter-verse

National Online Safety (NOS) is a company that instructs teachers, parents, and children how to navigate the digital universe. Based in the United Kingdom, NOS publishes a wide array of well-constructed and researched guides designed for children, and typically include a section designed for parents. Although both lay out the “common sense” advice one expects, their guides for devices and apps often include tips and pointers that aren’t obvious – even for people who regularly use them.

We’ll share these throughout our current investigation into the pitfalls of the digital universe to complement our examinations, and point out where a guide includes an exceptionally good, or, as is often the case, lesser known, piece of advice.

You’ll notice a few oddities here and there; the UK and the US don’t share legal restrictions regarding web-based publications and individual behavior, such as Scotland Yard’s Online “Hate Crime Unit” or the country’s laws regarding “revenge porn,” but many parents may find these guides useful, particularly those involving an unfamiliar app or social media platform. This guide, for example, includes a section entitled, “Twitter Trolls and the Law,” which does not apply to the United States.

Note the “Mute Hashtags & Phrases” under the “Top Tips for Parents” heading. This function is often underutilized and many parents are unaware this control exists. Much like blocking an individual or a brand, parents can mute a hashtag or a specific phrase. We’ve included the instructions for desktop as well as mobile devices.

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