MINIMUM AGE: 18+
WHAT IS IT?
Gab is a social media platform that was created as an alternative to mainstream social networking sites. It is known for its commitment to free speech and unrestricted expression.
WHAT WE SAY:
Radicalisation and extremism involve adopting extreme, often violent beliefs that deviate from societal norms. Children may encounter such content on platforms like Gab due to limited content moderation, user-generated content, algorithm-driven recommendations, peer influence, and active online recruitment efforts by extremist groups.
The platform's primary features and characteristics include:
Emphasis on Free Speech: Gab is designed to provide a platform for free expression, allowing users to share a wide range of opinions and viewpoints without strict content moderation.
User Profiles: Users can create profiles, follow other users, and be followed in return. Like other social media platforms, Gab allows for user interactions such as likes, comments, and sharing.
Content Sharing: Users can share various types of content, including text posts, links, images, videos, and more.
News Feeds: Gab provides a news feed where users can see content from accounts they follow.
Censorship Resistance: Gab positions itself as a platform that resists censorship and strives to protect users' rights to free speech, even when dealing with controversial or unpopular opinions.
Open Source: Gab's source code is open to the public, which means that the platform's development is transparent and allows contributions from the wider community.
Controversies: Gab has faced controversy and criticism, as its commitment to free speech has also led to the proliferation of hate speech, extremist content, and misinformation. This has resulted in being banned or restricted by app stores and service providers on several occasions.
SAFETY TIPS TO CONSIDER:
It is possible to register for a Gab account, but it's not mandatory to have one in order to access the content shared on the social media platform. A significant portion of the content on Gab includes hate speech and is unsuitable for children.
Caregivers should be vigilant and proactive in ensuring their children's online safety, especially on platforms where there is a risk of exposure to radicalisation and extremism. Here are some safety tips:
1. Open Communication: Maintain an open and honest line of communication with your children about their online activities. Encourage them to share their experiences and any concerns they may have.
2. Educate About Risks: Explain the potential dangers of online extremism and radicalisation. Make sure your children understand the implications of engaging with such content and individuals.
3. Set Age-Appropriate Boundaries: Enforce age-appropriate usage guidelines. Many social media platforms, including Gab, have age restrictions for users. Ensure your child complies with these guidelines.
4. Parental Controls: Use parental control software and tools to monitor and restrict your child's online activities. These tools can help filter out inappropriate content.
5. Check Privacy Settings: Teach your children how to adjust privacy settings on their accounts to limit exposure to unwanted or harmful content. Ensure that their profiles are set to private whenever possible.
6. Encourage Critical Thinking: Educate your children on critical thinking and media literacy. Teach them to evaluate online content critically, identify potential biases, and recognise false or extremist information.
7. Supervise Online Time: Monitor your child's online activity and encourage responsible use. Set specific time limits for screen time and establish tech-free zones within the home.
8. Friendship Guidelines: Talk to your child about adding friends or followers on social media. Emphasize that they should only connect with people they know in real life and should not engage with strangers.
9. Report Inappropriate Content: Instruct your child to report any extremist or harmful content they come across online. Most platforms have reporting mechanisms for inappropriate content.
10. Encourage Offline Activities: Encourage your child to engage in offline activities such as sports, hobbies, and spending time with friends. A balanced life helps reduce the time spent online.
11. Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated on the platforms and apps your child is using. Understanding the platforms and their risks will help you guide your child effectively.
12. Online Radicalisation Awareness: Teach your child about the signs of online radicalisation and extremism. Make them aware of the dangers and the consequences of being drawn into such ideologies.
13. Seek Professional Help: If you suspect that your child is being radicalised or exposed to extremist content, seek professional guidance. There are organisations and experts who can help address the issue - see below.
14. Lead by Example: Be a positive role model for your children by demonstrating responsible and ethical online behaviour.
Remember that each child is different, and your approach should be tailored to their age, maturity, and individual needs. Engaging with your child's online activities and providing guidance can help protect them from the risks of radicalisation and extremism on platforms like Gab and others.
For parents/ carers If you're worried about your child or need support call NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.
If you discover criminal content when online then report it directly to the police or the Internet Watch Foundation.
If you're worried about online grooming or sexual behaviour online then report directly to the police or contact CEOP.
For Children & young people if they're worried or want to talk, encourage them to contact Childline Online or call 0800 1111.
Check out our Resource Centre for further information and useful online safety tips.