Parents are being urged to delete their children's TikTok and Instagram before Hamas releases distressing content.

Schools in Israel and around the world are urging parents to delete social media apps from their children's phones as they expect Hamas terrorists to release distressing content.

CNN reported that the parent's association of a school in Tel Aviv said it had been told to expect videos of hostages "begging for their lives".

The school messaged parents directly to request they remove social media, especially TikTok, from their children's devices. 

The statement read: "We cannot allow our kids to watch this stuff. It is also difficult, furthermore - impossible - to contain all this content on social media. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation."

The statement led to several Jewish schools in the US issuing similar warnings while the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, said that “It was not clear where the information about forthcoming hostage videos was coming from.”

US journalist Joanne Stern shared messages from her local school and Jewish community centre that also advised parents to remove social apps to protect their kids.


“There are reportedly plans by Hamas to flood these media with videos of captives,” said one message.

“Parents should discuss the dangers of these platforms and ask their children on a daily basis about what they are seeing, even if they have deleted the most unfiltered apps from their phones.”

The Israel-Hamas war began after the terrorist group Hamas launched deadly land and air attacks on Israel's southern border on Saturday October 8, 2023. The most recent reported death toll stands at 1,200 in Israel and 900 reported deaths in Gaza.


Australian parents are advised to closely monitor their children's social media use and be aware that they may stumble across incredibly distressing content.

Australian psychologist and cyberpsychology consultant Jocelyn Brewer gave Mamamia advice for parents concerned about their kids' being exposed to violent content.

"Social media can, at any time, serve up distressing, unfiltered and inappropriate content that young minds (and even mature ones) may struggle to process and cannot ever unsee," Jocelyn tells Mamamia.

"At this time, where there are threats being made to live stream such abhorrent and extreme content, parents are well placed to have sensitive but unambiguous conversations about the issues and be wary of how quickly this content can spread if broadcast, without young people ever going looking for it."


She says that banning something outright from teens doesn't always have the desired effect.

"Banning or totally restricting something can sometimes mean that teens might then be super curious and seek to circumvent parental advice. 

"They might then get exposed to the traumatising content, and not seek help for fear of getting in trouble, and be further distressed by attempting to process it alone, without the guidance of parents and carers.

"The importance of talking to your kids in a way that is appropriate for your family and going gently on attempting to talk about the complexity of big issues, cannot be underestimated."

Jocelyn says that aside from the prospect of being exposed to distressing content and having difficult conversations, it is also worth educating older kids on the complexity of misinformation through the use of a virtual first aid tool.

"The mal/disinformation, deep fakes and other manufactured content that seeks to manipulate viewers is a whole other layer to modern warfare and media literacy that we also have to consider the existence of."

Jocelyn is a Sydney-based registered psychologist and cyberpsychology researcher with over a decade of experience supporting humans to manage their love/hate relationship with devices. She founded Digital Nutrition in 2013 and co-founded Metaversal Wellbeing in 2021.

Feature Image: Getty