Digital media are a natural part of children's and young people's lives. In particular, high-reach social media platforms with an affinity for young people, such as YouTube and Instagram, are among the preferred Internet offerings among children and young people (source: JIM Study 2018 / KIM Study 2016). In addition, smartphones offer the opportunity to be constantly online and connected. However, the rapid and continuous spread of online content also increases the risk for young users of being confronted with inappropriate content or being harassed.
On social media platforms, users disseminate a wide range of content that trivializes or glorifies self-harming behavior. This includes texts, images or videos that advocate eating disorders ("Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia"), self-injurious behavior (short: SVV, among others "Ritzen") and suicide and can have an animating behavioral tendency. Often, the contents of the self-endangerment areas overlap, i.e., offers that propagate self-injurious behavior can equally contain contents on the topic of suicide and/or eating disorders.
Children and adolescents in particular are not able to assess the consequences of self-harming behavior to the same extent as adults. There is a risk that users who have not previously been confronted with such content will also be endangered and impaired on platforms with an affinity for young people. Distorted and idealizing depictions of advocating self-endangering content can incite children and adolescents to imitate or reinforce pathological behavior in those affected.
In what form can children and adolescents encounter self-endangering content on the Internet and how can parents, educators and pedagogues or relatives of potentially affected persons behave? Answers are provided by the three new main topics on klicksafe.de, which are based on the expertise of jugendschutz.net have been created: