The Online Safety panel took place on Sunday at Summer In The City 2015. It featured creators including Gary C, Melanie Murphy and Eman Kellam. The panel was chaired by Chris Foxx.
To begin the panel, Chris asked about any bad experiences the panellists had experienced because of being online
Melanie said that the previous day someone had cloned her Twitter account, had tweeted unpleasant things to her followers, screenshotted them and sent them to the Summer In The City twitter account. Eman added that he has had instances of people waiting to meet him outside his school.
Gary and Eman both said that it was important to them that their lives before their YouTube channels began did not become public. “Pre 2006, as far as I’m concerned, that’s off limits,” said Gary.
Meeting people online was a big topic due to it being so common within the YouTube community. A member of the audience spoke about how her daughter had met two of her online friends that week and that it had been great for her. She added that she had talked to their mothers beforehand on Skype.
However Gary said that he had been ‘catfished’ before, meeting someone who he thought was the same age as him but who actually turned out to be a lot older. “I don’t expect to roll up and see an old man’s scrotum looking at me,” he said. Melanie and Eman also mentioned that they had been ‘catfished’ in the past.
Melanie talked about how her parents still ask her why she would meet up with people she’s met online. She added that you should do as much research as you can and that “you definitely have to go by your gut”.
The panel touched on the YouTube sexual abuse scandals and talked about how support should be offered to people who do come forward in cases like those. Savannah said: “If people are using the YouTube community to take advantage of their fans, they should not be allowed on the same platform that they use to take advantage of people”. Gary added that since many of YouTubers are role models, if they follow someone it is a stamp of approval.
One of the questions to the panel was what could be done to protect YouTubers’ younger followers. Melanie responded that she felt that schools had a big role to play in educating people about issues like online safety and body image, and that these issues should be included as part of the curriculum.
So what were the panel’s tips for staying safe online?
1. Use two factor authorisation on your channels
Two factor authorisation means that as well as your password, channels such as YouTube and Twitter will also send a code to your phone to authenticate your login.
2. Be conscious of what you post online
This can be especially important if you are applying for jobs. As an example Chris spoke about when he went for a job interview at the BBC and they had printed off one of his old Myspace blogs to talk about in the interview.
3. Be careful about using any details about yourself online.
Gary has hidden his details from the electoral register and also changed his name on Facebook to avoid being recognised. The panel also talked about cases where fans had discovered where YouTubers lived through a process of ‘Jigsaw Identification’.
The panel’s advice was to always be vague when talking about details such as your school or workplace.
4. Don’t post photos or upload videos with identifying landmarks while you are still at the location
Melanie and Gary both spoke about instances when they had uploaded photos and fans had found them and approached them. These situations can be harmless but can also be awkward or dangerous. The panel’s advice was to wait a few hours before uploading the image.
Instagram also includes a ‘photo map’ feature by default, which can include places like where you live. You can always disable your location on apps.
5. When meeting people online always do your research
Before you meet someone always check that they are who they say they are. Gary added that if someone refuses to video chat beforehand it should be a warning sign.
6. Be aware of privacy settings
Savannah said that her Facebook page is completely private and that it was important to be aware of what you are sharing and who you are sharing it with.
Photos by: Ollie Ali
Want More From Summer in the City 2015?
Check out our Summer in the City tag, where you’ll find all of our coverage. Also, why not take a look back at our Photo Recaps from Friday, Saturday and Sunday?
You might also be interested in:
- Anti-Bullying Panel at Summer in the City 2015
- Creator/Viewer Divide Panel at Summer in the City 2015
- Relationships Online Panel at Summer in the City 2015