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My 7 year old kid just started playing the game minecraft. He quite enjoyed it, played it a lot and also watched many related youtube videos.

However, he watched some youtube videos about "Entity 303" and got quite scared of it. Wouldn't take shower or go to bed alone. Not playing minecraft myself, I was a bit confused and so did some search on the internet. According to quora, Entity 303 does not exist, it's nothing but a Creepypasta (online scary story).

More details about the Creepypasta can be found here. The story seemingly is that some player met Entity 303 and committed suicide in the real world. I'm not quite sure about it as I don't quite understand all the jargon such as IRL, source code, TNT...

Assume my understanding is correct, i.e. Entity 303 is just a hoax, an online scary story, how could I explain to a 7 year old boy such things, that people like to write such stories, spread them, pretend them to be true, and even make youtube videos about them? -- my kid sort of accepts whatever is on youtube as the truth.

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    As you probably know now, you have to be very very careful with YouTube videos, even if they are about a “children’s” topic. There are SO many Minecraft videos that are not appropriate for kids. Same goes for Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, etc. I’ve grown to hate the internet so much (and yet here I am) that I fantasize about become Amish. – Jax Dec 30 '20 at 16:34
  • Please dont give your child internet freedom. They should not watch anything you havent first reviewed. Also, make sure your explanation is age appropriate for your child. – Adam Heeg Dec 31 '20 at 3:13
  • @AdamHeeg I would advise against restricting kids' internet freedom to that point. Just make them aware of the possible risks (obviously in a manner appropriate for their age). Just take a look at their search history every once in a while to ensure they are not watching anything dangerous to their development. – Nicholas Obert Dec 31 '20 at 12:14
  • @AdamHeeg yeah i need explain to my kid complex topics properly. For internet, it's quite hard to restrict -- take youtube for example, we limited it to youtube kids, then it turns out many good stuff are not in, such as numberphile, so we decided to allow all but warn my kid in advance there are topics not suitable for his age. – athos Dec 31 '20 at 12:37
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My children are still younger and terrified of anything remotely exciting, as stories go, so we often have this conversation, that some people like sad stories, some people enjoy suspense, while others may just want to be amused. It's all entertainment and we'll have to accept that there are genres that aren't for us.

I think that's all that needs to be said as to the why there are scary stories.

That's all given that we know we're dealing with fiction, so that's your first obstacle. While it may be a difficult point to drive home, I think it's an incredibly important lesson for a 7 year old to learn that not everything they'll find online is real.

There are many things your child will be exposed to online that requires a degree of scepticism, and a scary story is an excellent opportunity to have that discussion. At least it's just entertainment, and nothing malicious. But a firm understanding that different people enjoy different types of entertainment will be a stepping stone towards grasping that this is just entertainment to others.

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  • Thanks for the sharing. I agree fiction and tastes are two important concepts here. my kid is still digesting them, for example he thinks Santa is just parents stuffing presents when kids are asleep, however he took a youtube video seriously that even believed Korea army is stronger than France. I guess this would take time.. – athos Dec 31 '20 at 12:43
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You should resolve the "Entity 303"-specific issue first and only then face the more general problem of him believing to everything on YouTube.

I was personally involved in a similar situation some years ago. I got pretty scared of another creepypasta from the Minecraft world (Herobrine) and didn't want to play alone.
I was able to overcome this fear and realize it was just a fake thanks to my cousin, who explained me with more "technical" terms.
If you know anyone who has some knowledge about the Entity 303-specific subject, let him talk to your kid. Maybe someone close to him, like an older friend or relative.
If you don't, then your best choice would be looking for some YouTube videos that explains how the story is fake in a more "technical" manner than you could, as a not-player.

After solving the case-specific issue, you could use this story at your advantage, as an example to teach him he should not believe everything he sees on the internet.

I believe internet freedom for children is a great way to make them learn alone, but it should always be paired with some technical knowledge (true for both child and parent).
If your kid is really susceptible to these online creepy pastas, let someone close to him (and that he trusts) explain what's behind.

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  • thanks for sharing your own experience! that's quite valuable. i'll try find some entity303 explanation on youtube and other friends' kids playing minecraft. – athos Dec 31 '20 at 12:41

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