Warning re : The Musical.ly. App
Parents are advised to check if their children are using a social media app called Musical.ly.
This reminder to consider the dangers of social media comes after concerns have been raised that girls between the ages of eight and 12 are being targeted and groomed by potential paedophiles through the apps private messaging service.
Musical.ly is a video social networking app for video creation, messaging, and live broadcasting. The app lets users create short videos by lip-syncing to popular songs.
These issues were first raised in a meeting with multi agency sexual exploitation professionals who revealed that they had dealt with several cases of grooming through the app and consequently felt the need to send emails to local schools warning parents to be vigilant over how their children are using the app. It's believed that males are creating accounts and posing as teens before private messaging victims asking them to send more inappropriate content.
In the modern day and age it is a lot harder to know if someone is who they claim to be and children are the most vulnerable victims.
5 ways to keep your child safe whilst using the app
1. The app has an age rating of 13+ so if you find that your child created an account without your permission you can email email@example.com and let them know that the account was made by someone underage. They will promptly work to delete the account.
2. Secure their account by making it private- this way only users that your children accept are able to view their videos. You can also block a user if needed.
3. Tell your child to never include their location when posting videos and never to record a video whilst wearing school uniform as this identifies their location.
4. Tell your children to only accept a follower request if they can be 100% sure that they know the user.
5. You can delete all videos, remove their profile picture, change their account name and finally make the account both invisible and unrecognisable before removing it from your child's device/s
Dangers for Children in this app:
• 18+ content in the song’s lyrics. Swearing and adult concepts in the provided music.
• Pornography, graphic content, suicide notes.
• Musical.ly users can search for other users to view or follow near their own location.
• User generated videos can be viewed and shared onto other social media increasing exposure
• Bullying in comments.
• Users can publicise their messager usernames or social media profiles on their Musical.ly profile
• Live.ly live streaming is not private even if you have the privacy settings set up.
• Using live streaming Musical.ly app Live.ly may mean larger exposure with mean comments,
• Many fake user accounts, used to hijack views or set up to bully.
• Not easy to report accounts for being fakes or underage inside the app.
• Many underage accounts with large amounts of followers.
• It’s easy for users to create multiple accounts and hide them from their parents.