The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Parents urged to be aware of harmful content on social media

8 September 2020

The Department of Internal Affairs, Classification Office and Netsafe are aware that a graphic and upsetting video of a death has been circulating on social media. We want parents to be aware of this video so they can support their tamariki to be safe and avoid watching it.

“The content of the video is disturbing and will be harmful for people to see and we strongly encourage people to not view the video,” says Jared Mullen, Director of Digital Safety at DIA.

“If you see this video or any harmful material online, you can help take it down by reporting the incident to the online platform it is hosted by. All social media platforms have a complaint function you can follow.”

Chief Censor David Shanks says “Social media platforms are working to delete this harmful and upsetting video, but some individuals are intentionally uploading it and spreading it. Popular videos can appear on people’s homepages without being searched for and with no warning,”

“We all have a role to play to not amplify and spread this harmful video further. Even well-meaning posts expressing sadness give it more traction. Some people are posting the video in the comments of these posts,”

Martin Cocker, Netsafe CEO said “sometimes young people may find things they never intended to look at online. If tamariki are exposed to something that upsets them, it can be hard to know how to navigate this situation which is why we’ve developed advice to support parents and schools.”

Netsafe has advice on their website on how to support a young person who has been exposed to upsetting content: Helping Young People Exposed to Upsetting Content

For more information about how to keep your tamariki safe online visit

1737: text or talk with a trained counsellor 24 hours a day. Free service. Text or phone: 1737.


Media Desk
Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs
Mobile: +64 27 535 8639 email: