Social Media Warning
We have recently been contacted by Devon and Somerset Police with information about 3 apps/social media platforms which are being used regularly by paedophiles to groom children and young people.
Smule is a singing app that allows users to connect and make music with others around the world. The app shows users that are ‘live now’ and invites others to view, there is also a feature allowing users to ‘live jam’ which is to sing and perform with other users. Users can set their account to private to stop others from being able to freely search for them, and like and comment on their videos. Features include making music videos, pitch correction, visual effects and new songs are added daily; these features make this popular amongst young people. Users can also share their creations on the app to ‘get discovered’.
More information can be found on the website: https://www.smule.com/contact
Yubo (formerly known as yellow – make new friends) is a chat app that allows users to connect with others nearby. Users are required to create a profile, share their location before viewing other profiles on the app. People can swipe right on profiles they like, this then allows them to chat and follow one another on Snapchat. Users are required to be over the age of 13, however the app is unable to verify the ages and cannot be relied on. Features include one to one chat, stickers and the option to livestream with up to 10 people.
Safety advice and guides can be found on this website:
Yubo parents guide: http://parents-guide.yubo.live/
Line is an instant messaging app that allows users to message, voice and video call friends all over the world. Originally a Japanese social network it’s now attracted users worldwide. Features which make this appealing to young people include free calls and messages both 1:1 and in groups. Users are able to send stickers to one another and even GPS coordinates to let their friends know where they are. Line also includes an option to choose “Hidden Chat” which deletes messages after a short period, similar to snapchat.
Further information can be found on the website http://line.me/
As a school we strongly recommend that you check your child’s phone and other IT equipment that they use to make sure that they are not using these social media platforms.