For parents struggling to keep up with their children’s social media accounts, help may be at hand. Police have published a list of acronyms said to feature in a sexting “code” used by teenagers.
The glossary was posted on Facebook by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, in what the force said was an attempt to help parents understand sexters and online grooming gangs.
The acronyms and abbreviations include “NIFOC” (naked in front of the computer) and “Q2C” (quick to come).
The list attracted derision on social media, however, with people pointing out that many of the phrases were obscure or only used in the United States.
Alongside the list, officers had written: “Understand txt alk? Thot u did? Ave a lk at ur kids devices & use this 2 translate! Pls share It’s 1drfl when you get to know it! TLK2UL8R.”
Newry and Mourne police defended the publication of the list, saying that although it was taken from an American resource and was not an exhaustive list, it was helpful to parents.
The code includes abbreviations for making the other party aware that parents are nearby. For example, “MOS” means “mum over shoulder” and “PAW” stands for parents are watching. Others were rather more niche, including a numerical code in which “1174” meant “nude club”.
The police said: “Prevention is better than cure, so speak to your kids about their online activity, what they are using and respect the age limits of social media platforms. Is it proper to set up a kid with a Facebook account at eight years old?”
Margaret Gallagher, of NSPCC Northern Ireland, told the Belfast Telegraph: “Teenagers will always want to create coded language that can’t be understood by their parents. It’s natural and not necessarily something to get overly concerned about.
“The key thing for parents to keep their children safe online is to talk about staying safe and agreeing rules together about what’s OK.”
- WYRN What’s your real name?
- HAK Hugs and kisses
- ASL Age, sex and location
- WTTP Want to trade pictures?
- 53X Sex
- CU46 See you for sex
- NIFOC Naked in front of computer
- PAL Parents are listening
- KPC Keeping parents clueless
- PRON Porn
- ZERG To gang up on someone
- RU/18 Are you over 18?
- LMIRL Let’s meet in real life