Warning to Calderdale parents over ‘children dating’ app

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Parents of school children across Calderdale have been sent warning letters about an app described as an ‘online dating app for children’.

Rezina Kelly, Calderdale’s Schools Safeguarding Advisor, has issued the advice to schools to notify parents about the apps ‘live.ly’ and ‘Yellow’.

The warning comes on the back off an incident at a Leeds school where a pervert performed a sex act online to a group of young children in Leeds using live.ly.

The app is rated ‘Parental Guidance’ on the Google Play app store.

Advice for parents from website Commonsensemedia.org says: “Parents need to know that live.ly is live video-streaming in a social-networking app that allows users to broadcast live video to online friends and is made by the same developers as musical.ly - your music video community.

“Teens can log in with their musical.ly, Facebook, or Twitter account.

“The terms of use specify that users be at least 13 years old but that by using the service, they are affirming that they’re 18, which makes little sense.

“As with any live-streaming service, there are concerns about what kids might see, what sort of information kids may give out, and the potential for bullying or inappropriate comments from viewers.

“The app, however, does warn users at the beginning of streams to not expose personal information and reminds them to “be nice,” though no moderation or oversight is promised by the developers.

“Users can block viewers who post inappropriate comments, and viewers can report broadcasters if they are streaming iffy content, though the terms of use state that the developers have no obligation to do anything in response.”

The second concerning app is ‘Yellow’ which is essentially an online dating app for children which works in a similar way to ‘Tinder’.

Schools are warning parents that the idea of the app is you can swipe through people and then choose someone to meet up with.

This poses numerous risk factors for children and the risk of online grooming and exploitation.