Not long ago did the world witness a series of messages filling up the Facebook timelines. These anonymous messages were coming through Sarahah, an application that guarantees the complete secrecy of the sender’s identity. The anonymity nature of the application caught the teenagers in a grip since who will not love to receive a secret love message sent from a secret admirer. Created for a positive purpose, unfortunately, became a hive for cyber bullies. Often, a mobile application developer designs an application with a positive purpose but the users’ perspective can be a difficult thing to fathom. Thus, good apps are twisted and manipulated according to what the offenders feel like. Then again, few mobile developers often overstep to play with human psychology resulting in damaging mishaps. This is something that occurred with Blue Whale gaming application making headlines repeatedly with the report on random teenagers committing suicide to meet the weird challenges featured in the application.
Mobile applications do display two different sides of a bigger picture. Irrespective of its unending benefits, they often prove to be nasty. The cybercriminals consider them a perfect haven to carry out their perversity. Even though Facebook and other social media sites adopt stringent measures to deal with the offenders, yet the parents and guardians need to track on what their ward is up in the social world.
So, for all those parents and guardians here is a list of 8 popular social media applications which your child might be used without your knowledge.
Check them out:
- Similar to Sarahah.com, Yik Yak is also an anonymous social messenger, which does not catch any user information apart from their location. Posts contents are entirely in the hands of the users. Even though it is made for college kids to share their thoughts and news on forthcoming events yet it does not have any strict regulation to prevent younger users from using the platform to spread hurtful comments and rumors about their peers. There is news that few users even spread threats against their schools leading to safety concerns and disruptions for schools and the cops.
- Tinder, a popular app to connect with new and interesting people around you, is solely used for dating and anonymous hook up. Meant for college kids, again this is the primary haven for users below 17 years of age. Geo-location and anonymous nature of the application place users at risk of becoming a victim to ‘catfishing’, ‘sexual harassment’, ‘stalking’, and much worse than one can imagine.
- fm is designed in a ‘question-answer’ format allowing users to establish communication between friends, peers as well as few anonymous users. Popular among Europeans and Americans, this application came under the radar owing to reports of cyberbullying across its platform. Such bullying led to suicide and death of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick of Florida. Recently a ‘Report Abuse’ button has been added but the damage is already done.
- Kik Messenger is a mobile application facilitating high-speed text exchanges and giving a more ‘face-to-face’ feel when texting. But there are reviews in App and Google Play store which states that such applications are often used for sexting with strangers and young users are subjected to cyber-bullying. Similar to Ask.fm, Kik came under the radar due to the recent death report on Rebecca Sedwick.
- Snapchat, one of the popular social media applications, allow users to post images and videos, which have the capability to disappear within seconds from their posting on its site. Such a feature but will compel young kids to post racy stuff off themselves. Nevertheless, such posts do not completely disappear from a device and other users can easily take a screenshot before they vanish from the application.
- Kids below 17 years also install Vine irrespective of its 17+ rating. Content posted here can be equally naughty and nice as well. It is Twitter’s mobile applications, which allow users to shoot, and share short loops of videos each of 6 seconds duration. From creative to explicit contents such as nudity, sex, drug use, offensive language, hardcore sexuality, and more are posted here.
- Tumblr is yet another social media site, which catches active young teen users. Similar to Instagram, it allows users to share images, videos and indulge in one-to-one communication with the other users. However, violent and pornographic contents can easily be shared across the platform and users have to actually cross many hurdles to set-up privacy settings. Until then their images remain exposed to the world. Few health experts say Tumblr causes damaging mental health disorders among young adolescents.
- Whisper carries the motto, “Share Secrets, Express Yourself, Meet New People.” However, this application discontinued soon after its release in the app stores because it was filled up with abusive contents. Again similar to Sarahah.com, this application allows users to create anonymous accounts to post messages overlapped with an image or graphic similar to e-postcards which are then shared, liked and commented by others. It inspires creativity but is twisted by bullies to viral personal contents. Since it displays user’s location, it can be quite damaging. A 12-year-old young girl from Washington reported having been raped by a 21-year-old man she met at Whisper.
There are few other applications, which are targeted by these offenders to trap young users, Whatsapp is one of them. Others are:
- Shots of me
There are few more out there. If you are aware of any apart from the mentioned ones then do let us know.
Time to wrap up
One thing, which is advisable for the young parents and that, is to indulge in frequent one-to-one friendly conversation with your kid to best understand what they are up to. Since it is a common tendency among little children to hide and lie about stuff if they catch their parents spying on them. Then monitoring their activities online is also crucial.
But if you want my opinion, I believe it is also a responsibility of any dedicated mobile developer hired to avoid creating apps which are capable of stealing even a person’s life. Guys!! Show some concern.
Top-rated mobile application development companies such as Fluper make sure that their applications have well-mentioned safety rules in case some unavoidable circumstance arises courtesy their developed app. They also make sure their apps leave no scope for posting any explicit contents.
Now if you are looking for any help with similar app building idea you can consider Fluper by clicking onto:
WhatsApp on 9811214178