A recently released app called Yellow has drawn media attention for all the wrong reasons. What is being advertised as “an easy and free way to make friends” is now being criticized for being the “Tinder for Teens”. Just like Tinder, Yellow allows its users swipe to left and right to either like or pass to another user. Once a match is found, the users can begin chatting, browsing and sharing photos. So what’s all the noise about and why should parents be concerned?
With a closer look at this app, it has been said that Yellow could be used as a potential grooming tool for online predators. Unlike the dating app Tinder – which has a minimum age requirement of 18- Yellow does not have checks in place to verify age. What this means is that complete strangers can begin chatting and sharing photo’s with each other, no matter their age. Raising any red flags yet?
According to the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), “Any app that allows strangers to send photos to children or vice versa is troubling – particularly where the images being exchanged are of a sexual nature. And Yellow’s settings that enable adults to view children, through a service blatantly aimed at flirting and relationships, also creates an opportunity for sexual predators to target young people. This needs to be urgently addressed.”
Here’s what else you need to know about the app:
- Yellow requires users to post their first name, surname and location on their profile. For an unassuming or naive user, this lack of privacy could lead to some potentially dangerous circumstances.
- Yellow allows users to connect with friends or strangers on three other social platforms namely Snapchat, Instagram and Musical.ly. All of which give strangers more information and insight into the intimate life of the user.
- Yellow does not allow users to block suspicious or malicious accounts which could lead to issues such as cyberbullying or sexting.
While the developers of Yellow have stated that they have identified the problem, they will not verify ages on sign-up.
Here’s what you can do to protect your children on Yellow:
- If your child is using the app or wants to start, talk to them about the potential risks of using the app. Ensure that they know not to connect with anyone who they don’t know.
- Advise them not to share their personal information online.
- Encourage them to talk to you if they have been exposed to any inappropriate content while using the app.
While the idea behind Yellow encourages people to make new friends, it holds the risk of being used inappropriately on many levels. Our advice, don’t let your child use this app at all.