Police Warn Parents of WhatsApp Group Exposing Children to Harmful Content

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Police Warn Parents of WhatsApp Group Exposing Children to Harmful Content

In a concerning development, Gloucestershire police have issued a warning to parents about the dangers lurking in their children’s WhatsApp groups. A number of 11-year-olds have been unwittingly added to a group chat that has bombarded them with sexually explicit and racially offensive material.

Police Warn Parents Of Whatsapp Group Exposing Children To Harmful Content

The group, identified by an American phone number prefix, adds children without consent and coerces them to further expand the group by adding their own contacts. The content shared within the group is deeply disturbing, featuring sexual violence and racist commentary. Moreover, members are threatened with being tracked down if they attempt to leave the chat.

In response to these alarming reports, authorities are urging parents to take immediate action by adjusting the privacy settings on their children’s WhatsApp accounts. By default, the app allows users to be added to groups without prior approval. To prevent this, parents should:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Navigate to Settings > Privacy > Groups.
  3. Select My Contacts under ‘who can add me to groups’.

This simple precaution can significantly reduce the risk of children being exposed to such harmful content.

Additionally, parents are encouraged to engage in open discussions with their children about online safety. If a child has been added to this group, they should be instructed not to engage with the content and to block, delete, and report the group to WhatsApp immediately.

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