But now four genius dudes from France have made it even worse for parents by creating what basically amounts to Tinder for the younger set.
Nope. Nope. Nope. Not a fan.
The new free app, called “Yellow” connects tweens and teens “nearby.”
“Make amazing new friends on Yellow for Snapchat, Kik, Houseparty and Musically!” the app description says.
The target demographic is 13 to 17 year-olds. But guess what?
Age isn’t actually verified.
I created an account, and I’m well over 30.
Think about that for a minute.
And thanks a lot Jeremie, Arthur, Anthony and Sacha. Those are the four 25-year-old MEN in Paris who developed the platform.
Rising in popularity
Nearly 33,000 people have left 4.0 star ratings, for Yellow in the Google Play store, which is where I downloaded it.
Among the positive comments:
“Love that you can meet people from all walks of life, easy to use and fun,” Keryahanna Flavien wrote.
But already there are signs of the kinds of problems that keep parents up at night.
“Too many guys asking for nudes and stuff like that,” Natasha Transformice said.
Reports of bullying, inappropriate pics
Numerous users said in the app store comments that they were kicked off the app for various reasons. Among them:
- Not providing a full, clear image of user’s real face
- Not having links to other social media handles to verify user
- Sending inappropriate photos
- Responding to inappropriate requests from other users
- Making inappropriate comments, posts
Tweens and teens complained that the app is “bugging, slow, outdated, and Yellow developers send too many messages and bans.”
The app’s usage agreement includes:
- Only use your personal pictures and videos
- Inappropriate pictures and videos are forbidden
- Give your exact birthday
- Report suspicious behaviors
- Be kind with your new friends
The app itself is easy to use. All it requires is a name, birthday and a clear photo of the user’s face. (Although as previously noted, you don’t actually have to prove your age.)
Teens and tweens can then start swiping left or right depending on if the picture piques their interest.
If there is a mutual connection with another user, they can begin a conversation. Yellow instantly connects them through other social media apps, like Snapchat, where the messaging actually takes place.
Parents must be vigilant
Ken Colburn, of Data Doctors, an IT and computer services shop, warns parents to be on the lookout for newly emerging social media platforms.
“You just have to stay on top of this stuff, and can’t ignore it.”- Ken Colburn, technology expert
He said the most dangerous thing a parent can do is ignore apps their children are downloading or say, “I don’t have time for this.”
“There is nothing keeping an older person from connecting with these kids,” Colburn said, noting that the app uses “the honor system” to verify age.
Parents. check your kids’ phones.