DICT to con­tinue con­duct of 'dig­i­tal par­ent­ing' con­fer­ences

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! - (PNA)

The De­part­ment of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy (DICT) will con­tinue to con­duct dig­i­tal par­ent­ing con­fer­ences, which are aimed at help­ing par­ents in mon­i­tor­ing the on­line ac­tiv­i­ties of their chil­dren fol­low­ing the vi­ral ‘Momo Chal­lenge’ on so­cial me­dia.

The ‘Momo Chal­lenge’ and other on­line chal­lenges had re­port­edly lead to self­harm and sui­cide among the youth.

“It is our fer­vent hope that par­ents play an ac­tive role in mon­i­tor­ing their kids on­line as the great­est in­flu­ence to chil­dren is not the gov­ern­ment nor the schools, it’s them -- the par­ents,” DICT As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary for Cy­ber­se­cu­rity and Emerg­ing Tech­nolo­gies Al­lan Ca­ban­long said in a state­ment on Fri­day.

The de­part­ment’s Cy­ber­se­cu­rity Divi­sion is cur­rently mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion and will be craft­ing poli­cies and tech­ni­cal reme­dies to ad­dress the is­sue.

“We will con­tinue our ef­forts in mak­ing the cy­berspace a safe place, es­pe­cially for our chil­dren but we need the co­op­er­a­tion of the par­ents. They should be mind­ful of the ac­tiv­i­ties of their chil­dren on­line,” DICT Act­ing Sec­re­tary Eliseo Rio Jr. said in a sep­a­rate state­ment.

The de­part­ment has con­ducted three Dig­i­tal Par­ent­ing Con­fer­ences na­tion­wide last year.

For this year, the Cy­ber­se­cu­rity Bureau is eye­ing to con­duct the fo­rum in the prov­inces, start­ing with Ca­gayan de Oro on April 4.

The “Momo Chal­lenge” first made head­lines in July 2018 when it was no­ticed by a known YouTube user.

Later, a 12-year-old Ar­gen­tine girl was re­ported dead af­ter she was al­legedly per­suaded to do self­harm and take her own life by a grotesque-look­ing fe­male fig­ure through the mo­bile mes­sag­ing ap­pli­ca­tion, “What­sApp”.

How­ever, au­thor­i­ties have yet to find a link be­tween the trend­ing “sui­cide game” and the un­likely death of the vic­tim – and that of the re­ported cases of “Momo Chal­lenge” ca­su­al­ties in Brazil, Canada, Colom­bia, and Europe.

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