Loose Women panellist Nadia Sawalha has opened up about the ‘horrendous’ moment her daughter’s nine-year-old friend was flashed online by three men.
The former EastEnders star was on the show with her 14-year-old daughter Maddie, and the two recounted the story whilst discussing online crazes that can be potentially harmful for children.
‘One of Maddie’s friends who was on a live streaming platform and was completely innocent to what she was doing – she was chatting to some other friends of hers or something’, Nadia explained.
The mum-of-two went on to say how the Maddie’s friend then clicked on to enter a different chat, which was when the men started talking to her.
Nadia’s daughter Maddie also made an appearance on the show
‘And then this thing came up saying “Do you want to come and see our pets?” So she inadvertently goes into a chat room and, I mean this is really horrendous, these guys started to talk to her and the camera changed and then all three of them flashed at her,’ she continued.
Speaking about the terrifying experience, Maddie said: ‘It was a link that was connected to Facebook and she clicked onto it because her friends were on it. But their faces were blurred and then this image popped up.’
Discussing the issue of flashers online, Saira Khan added that parents are used to warning kids about the dangers in the real world, but the most harmful things can be happening while they’re at home.
‘The thing that’s most scary is that you warn your kids about flashers walking to school but this happens when your kids are up in the bedroom,’ she agreed.
Experts have warned parents that they should all initiate a conversation with their kids about online safety and security, even if they think their kids would not get involved.
‘It’s important parents don’t bury their heads in the sand and assume their children would never take part in one of these challenges’, Dr Linda Papadopoulos of web safety organisation Internet Matters told The Mirror.
‘These are just some of the most severe games that have been cropping up, but there might be a number of manifestations, so at the very least they will form the trigger to begin a conversation with your child.’