Fears children at risk of ‘upskirting’ pranks by peers

Published: 04 September 2017


First it was ‘sexting’ and now parents of primary school-aged children have been warned about sickening new string of pranks becoming popular among students, likely fuelled by disturbing online videos.

News Corp reports children as young as 12 are victims of “upskirting”, “downblousing” and “pantsing” from their peers.

However, authorities have warned students that if they are caught filming another pupil without permission they will face criminal charges.

“Upskirting” is the act of filming up an unknowing person’s skirt or dress while “pantsing” is the act of pulling an individual’s pants down and capturing it on video.

A large number of these videos are then posted to social media.

Speaking to News Corp, ESafety commissioner Julie Inman Grant said a “growing number” of complaints have been received regarding “upskirting” and “downblousing”.

She said being victim of such abuse can be a devastating experience, especially for young people, and that the office is preparing to launch a new website which can be used as a reporting tool to address the abuse.

And experts fear the twisted pranks are fuelled by disturbing YouTube videos.

“There is a very twisted genre of YouTube videos that are teaching children highly inappropriate behaviour,” cyber safety expert Ross Bark said.

It is understood some schools in New South Wales already run courses on how to be a “digital citizen” which also warns students against any wrongdoing or they could land themselves a criminal record.