Wednesday, 12 May, 2021

 Kids’ Instagram backlash; Social distancing on Mt Everest; Space rock heads to Earth; and tiger on the loose in Houston.



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Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.






A plan by Instagram to create a version just for kids has been slammed by law makers in 44 of the 50 states in America over concerns that kids under the age of 13 are not mentally equipped to cope with social media.

Social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are popular with teenagers. But they have also been criticised widely for how easy they make it for bullies to target vulnerable young people, and the negative effect they can have on kids’ self-esteem and confidence. That they make kids worry unnecessarily about how many followers they have, how many likes they get – that sort of thing. Many parents also worry about their children’s privacy on the internet when using social media. 

According to critics of the under-13s Instagram plan, kids are just not old enough yet to always be aware of the impact social media can have on your lives. 

Instagram’s owners say that kids are online anyway – and that the new service will simply make it easier for adults to keep track of their children’s online activities. But the lawmakers in the US say there are many safer ways for kids to keep in touch with family and friends. 

Currently no one under the age of 13 is allowed to be on Instagram .. and I know how much you all follow the rules – so we’ll assume this story doesn’t affect any of you, right?




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed on the top of the world … at the summit of Mt Everest, in the country of Nepal — where plans are being drawn up to make the highest mountain in the world COVID safe. 

Mt Everest sits on the border of China and Nepal. And with the mountain climbing season in the northern hemisphere about to kick off again – an annual event that draws thousands of people from around the world to try to climb to the highest point on the planet – China has decided to divide the summit down the middle to keep travellers from other parts of the world from mingling up there with Chinese climbers. Did you know the summit of Mt Everest is a patch of snow so small that it can only fit six people at time? And that on good climbing days in summer there’s a queue to reach it? So I guess that’s three on each side of the dividing line. Social distancing, summit style. Only in 2021.




What is it about big cats and zoo escapes this week? Yesterday we brought you the story of the leopard on the loose in the Chinese city of Huangzhou – and today, there was news of a Bengal tiger on the loose in the American city of Houston after it too had escaped from a private zoo.

Residents in a suburb of the big city in Texas could hardly believe their eyes when they looked out their front windows to see a tiger walking casually down their street.

Local authorities later said the tiger belonged to a local man – who is also believed to have pet monkeys. 

In the United States, it’s estimated some 5000 tigers are kept as pets. And while that might sound really cool, to have a tiger as a pet, animal rights campaigners say it’s cruel to keep a wild animal as a domestic pet. 

My dog Louis is sitting at my feet right now as I record this. But he sure does stinky farts. Oh, not again Louis… 




Remember a while back we talked about a rocket ship that was sent from Earth to hover around an asteroid and every now and then pop down onto the asteroid’s surface to collect rock samples? No? Well, I don’t blame you. There are so many rockets flying around up there it’s busier than the main street of your home town in peak hour. The rocket is called Osiris-Rex, it was sent up into space three years ago and has spent the last few months collecting samples of rock from an asteroid which is orbiting the Sun. 

The exciting news: it’s collected heaps of rock samples, which scientists cannot wait to get their hands on to study. The bad news? The asteroid is so far away from Earth, it’s going to take Osiris-Rex two whole years to fly home. 




Well, well, well … what an enthusiastic bunch of footy fans you all are! 

After our call out yesterday for the upcoming Squiz Kids Q+A with AFL star, Josh Dunkley we were flooded with questions.

Yes – you heard right – we’ve joined forces with Swysh to convince AFL star, Josh Dunkley to take the Q+A hotseat and answer your questions. 

Josh is a seriously good midfielder with the Western Bulldogs, a premiership winning AFL player and one of the nicest blokes in the league. 

He’s also a proud member of the Swysh community – a great new service providing everyday Aussies with personalised video messages from their favourite sports stars. It’s an awesome gift, for birthdays and big celebrations, and every Swysh video raises money for charity. 

Maybe you want to know what position Josh played as a young footy player with Gippsland Power .. or how he got his big break in the professional league … or what his tips are for anyone wanting to follow in his footsteps. 

Send through any questions you have for Josh to [email protected] … and for more info about Swysh, check out  – or see the link in today’s episode notes. Oh — and the best question gets a free, personalised video message from Josh himself. How cool is that?




This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. Which social media platform is in trouble for proposing a version just for kids?
  2. What’s the name of the tallest mountain in the world?
  3. What sort of animal is on the loose in Houston, Texas?




It’s May 12   … 80th birthday for my Dad … happy birthday dad … and also of Homer Simpson – oddly enough. Though I would never suggest my Dad has anything in common with Homer Simpson. Though he does like donuts … 

Plus its International Nurses’ Day — nurses all over the world do such amazing work. If you know a nurse, give them a hug for me.

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …. Avina from Cherrybrook, Amber from Kings Langley, Gemma from Tingalpa, Rohan from Abbotsford, Kira from Bellevue Heights, Mia from Wallaroo, Sam from Mansfield, Edee from Bathurst, Ashmit from West Ryde, Liam from Forest Lake, Jesan from Cranbourne, Vish from Holsworthy, Kai from Epping North, Hermes from Sydney and Nate from Ingham.

And some belated birthday shoutouts to… Clementine from Canberra and Kesha from Ingham.

Classroom shoutouts…Mrs Fordham and Mrs Camacho’s Year 5 class at St Joseph’s in Oatley, 5K with Mrs Knowles at Jindalee State School, class 3/4C and Ms Critcher at Shoal Bay Public School, and all the Year 6 kids at Scott’s Head Public School.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Instagram
  2. Mt Everest
  3. Tiger