Social networks, apps and games
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Episode: Choose Your Story

Episode – Choose Your Story is an interactive storytelling platform. It includes stories written by the editorial team at Episode and by the users themselves. A lot of the stories contain references to sex, romance and dating, with some censored nudity.

13+

Official age rating

13+

Parent age rating

What do parents say?
11+

Child age rating

What do children say?

At a glance

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Expert view of the risks...

Sexual

High Risk

Violence & hatred

Medium Risk

Bullying

Medium Risk

Suicide & self-harm

Medium Risk

Drink, drugs & crime

Medium Risk

O2 Guru top tip

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On Episode

There aren’t parental controls on Episode and some stories contain adult content. Talk about the app together to decide if it's appropriate.

Top tips for staying safe

Exploring apps, sites and games together is a great way to involve your child in the decision-making process.

Be positive about what you see, but also be open about your concerns. Ask them what they think is appropriate and what worries them.

If you decide it’s not appropriate, then make sure you explain your reasons why.

You might decide it’s ok for your child to use. If so, make sure you follow the tips below to ensure it’s as safe as possible. And work out a time when you’ll next discuss the app.

Help your child think about what they share online and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline.

You might want to start by asking:

  • What kinds of things do you share online?
  • Should we share everything?
  • What shouldn’t we share?

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You wouldn’t give your number to somebody you don't know on the street. Is somebody online you don't know any different?”

Listen to their answers. And be positive and encouraging.

Remind them that they shouldn’t share private things, such as:

  • personal information, like names, emails, phone numbers, location and school names
  • other people's personal information
  • links to join private group chats
  • photos of themselves
  • photos of their body, such as sexual photos or videos.

Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if anything upsets or worries them.

Reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them.

And if they feel like they can’t speak to you, tell them to talk to an adult they trust, like a teacher or Childline.

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Talking to your child

Having open, regular conversations with your child will help you to really understand and explore the online world together. Our tips and advice can help you start these conversations.

Talk about staying safe online

What children and parents are saying about Episode: Choose Your Story

We've spoken to over 2,000 parents and kids to find out what they think.

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Kids

What do children and young people dislike about Episode – Choose Your Story?

• There might be inappropriate or uncomfortable content in some of the stories
• There are in-app purchases
• The adverts that pop up

The episodes can contain uncomfortable scenes but I think it’s safe because it tells you that mature themes can take place and it says that if it upsets you, you don't have to read it.

Girl, 13

What do children and young people like about Episode – Choose Your Story?

• It’s a fun way to be creative and write your own stories
• It’s safe because you don’t communicate with others or share your location

I like this app because it is fun to use and you can create your own stories for others to read. This app does not give you an option for location, so you are safe.

Girl, 13

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Parents

We asked parents about the following areas of Episode – Choose Your Story:

Signing up

Overall, parents thought it was too easy for children to sign up.

Too easy for children to access.

Mother of a 12 year old girl

Reporting

I couldn’t see how to report or block.

Mother of an 11 year old girl

Privacy settings

Changing settings cannot be done on the app. Also, your profile can become available to other users.

Mother of a 12 year old girl

Safety and support

It’s all too hidden within the app. A parent might let their child download this not knowing the contents.

Mother of an 11 year old girl

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