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How to moderate online behaviour of teens and tweens

How to moderate online behaviour of teens and tweens

Best practice from eModeration

In its latest white paper: How to moderate teens and tweens, moderation and community management company eModeration examines the psychology and online  behaviour of teens and tweens, and what that means for brands engaging with this group online.

This is a sequel to the previous whitepaper: An Introduction to Using Community and Interactive Advertising to Engage Tweens & Teens, which is designed to educate brands on the best ways to target tweens and teens via social media.

The paper, authored by Tamara Littleton, CEO of eModeration, examines how teenage behaviour differs online from offline, and the trend of ‘disinhibition’ or ‘flaming’ that perceived anonymity of the internet affords teens in their communications with each other.

It considers the impact that this perceived anonymity has on bullying online, and also the long-term consequences of, for example, the increase in ‘sexting’. It also analyses research from other professionals in the field, such as Tanya Byron.

Littleton discusses the positive and negative effects that online role-playing can have on development, and the crucial safety concerns: for example, how children will attempt to share contact or location information that could lead them open to abuse

She also considers the impact of live content and perceived access to celebrities (through media such as Twitter) on teens and tweens.

The role of the moderator is crucial in helping to guide young people through their online development, and in the paper, Littleton gives practical help to brands engaging with teens and tweens and seeking to moderate online behaviour. These guidelines include how to achieve the following:

1. Inhabit their world

Understand the language used by teens / tweens

Understand that children are developing and allow them some freedom to do this

Listen to concerns or questions, and respond quickly

Avoid being intrusive

Earn trust and respect

Keep them engaged and happy online

2. Keep them safe


Watch out for and deter cyberbullying, peer-to-peer abuse

Spot and prevent grooming behaviour

Keep children safe from themselves

- Don’t let them be exposed to potentially damaging, offensive or otherwise inappropriate material, uploaded by other users

- Educate them on the consequences of inappropriate behaviour

- Create mechanisms to report abusive behaviour, or give feedback, or voice concerns

Littleton said, “Adults have a clear responsibility to help steer children through their online environments, and it is a world that can seem baffling to some.

“Teens and tweens are finding their voices as their brains develop, and in these days of instant communication, sometimes they may later regret online behaviour. Moderation has a role in helping to guide them as well as keeping them safe.”

Download it by clicking the link below.

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