Israeli schools urge parents to tell kids to delete Instagram, TikTok


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An Israeli soldier gestures in an armoured vehicle as they drive along a street near the northern town of Kiryat Shmona close to the border with Lebanon on October 10, 2023. Israeli forces on October 10 launched artillery fire at Lebanon after rocket fire towards Israel, the army said. 

Jalaa Marey | AFP | Getty Images

Several Israeli and Jewish schools are reportedly urging parents to delete social media apps like Instagram, TikTok and X, formerly known as Twitter, from their children’s smartphones to prevent them from seeing violent images and videos related to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

One Tel Aviv school’s parents’ association warned of the possibility that Hamas fighters may release graphic videos of hostages “begging for their lives,” CNN reported on Tuesday.

“We cannot allow our kids to watch this stuff. It is also difficult, furthermore — impossible — to contain all this content on social media,” the message said. “Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.”

Several Jewish schools in the U.S. have also issued similar warnings, reported the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, which added that “It was not clear where the information about forthcoming hostage videos was coming from.”

The principal of The Frisch School in Paramus, New Jersey, reportedly sent an email to parents urging them to tell their kids to delete Instagram and TikTok “immediately.”

Several people also have posted on social media sites like X and Meta’s Threads real-time messaging service that they have also received school notices warning of the possibility that students could see upsetting content via social apps.

Aviva Klompas, a co-founder of the Boundless Israel nonprofit, shared via an X post one school’s message to parents, which said that “It has been brought to our attention that videos of hostages begging for their lives will soon be released.”

“Please remove the @TikTok and @instagram apps from your children’s mobile phones,” the message said.

Journalist Joanna Stern shared a post on X that contained messages from both her Jewish high school and local Jewish Community Center that she said were “suggesting parents delete X, Instagram and TikTok because of the ‘graphic and misleading information’ on these platforms.”

“There are reportedly plans by Hamas to flood these media with videos of captive,” said one of the messages Stern shared in her post. “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.”

Meanwhile, Yair Rosenberg of The Atlantic posted a message on Threads saying that he “Saw an email today from a noted US Jewish high school telling parents to have their kids delete TikTok and Instagram, in anticipation of Hamas posting videos of Israeli hostages begging for their lives or worse. (Some videos of taunting of hostage kids are already circulating.)”

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday during a speech that Hamas is also holding an unknown number of Americans as hostages, and that at least 14 Americans have been killed as part of the conflict.

Watch: President Biden: We stand with Israel

President Biden addresses Israel-Hamas war: We stand with Israel

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