Guest column: Shuswap mother warns parents about Whisper

Man says he likes to walk around the house naked in message to 10-year-old girl

Guest column by Tracy Hughes

Last week, I discovered a notification on an old iPhone my kids use to play games.

It has no plan for phoning or text. The notification was from “Anonymous,” so I immediately opened it and discovered my 10-year-old daughter had downloaded an App called “Whisper” which allows people to make memes with cute photos and post them.

Our daughter had created memes with pictures of puppies, ballet shoes and horses with little sayings. Once they are posted, anyone can respond via private chat message or publicly on the post.

To my horror, this chat string contained an inappropriate conversation that included this person telling her that when he was “home alone he liked to walk around the house naked” and then later on said, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could cuddle?”

He also asked if she was from California (to which she said yes, explaining to me that she knew she shouldn’t give out her real location) and her age (which she lied online and said was 17).

I am not justifying her behaviour as she knew this was against our rules, but she chose to break them and will now have consequences.

There were also other chat threads, but none as inappropriate as this.

My daughter’s school and the RCMP have been notified about this situation.

Now before you judge my parenting, my husband and I have had many conversations with our kids about Internet safety.

We monitor the devices, don’t allow passwords, don’t allow use in their bedrooms and have a program installed to limit screen time.

We also had what we thought was software to keep content child-friendly. Apparently, this was not enough.

Our daughter has told us she knows of other kids using this app, so I want to alert parents that I do not believe this is OK. It is designed for anonymous contact and that scares me. But it has millions of views.

Read more: Facebook cracks down on groups spreading harmful information

Read more: Security tips for National Password Day

Read more: B.C. Mounties say porn ransom demand is a scam

This experience has certainly changed the way I will handle screens in my house.

I am just thankful I do monitor enough that we caught this before the situation got any worse.I hope you check your kids’ devices for any of these types of apps, ASAP. The police told me this is not the only one that operates in this fashion and provides a way for strangers to reach your kids.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Letter: Museum defends ATV trade show decision after social media post

To the editor The Princeton and District Museum and Archives Society would… Continue reading

Peeling away: OK strip clubs disappearing

Hear from Penticton’s only strip club owner about their success in a dying industry

It’s time to Ring and Sing, in spring

The Musaic Vocal Ensemble and the Oliver Handbell Ringers present a concert for bells and voices

Driver crashes near Princeton after swerving to miss small animal

A driver and passenger received minor injuries in a single vehicle roll… Continue reading

Support for Penticton shooting victim

A GoFundMe has been started for one of the four people killed April 15

Annual Nk’maplqs Challenge Cup returns easter weekend

The goal of the Vernon-based event is to revitalize the game and the tradition of an all-native hockey tournament in the Interior.

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Traffic flagger ‘pushed’ by vehicle in Osoyoos on April 18

Aimee Attig is looking for witnesses of the incident that took place on Highway 3 near the AG Foods

The 25th annual Osoyoos Eggstravaganza gets cracking on Saturday

Find out what the Town of Osoyoos has planned for Easter

Shuswap dancer stays across street from Penticton shooting day after Salmon Arm tragedy

Dancers come for festival, put in lockdown in rec centre, watch police response from Airbnb window

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Vernon-raised BC Was Awesome producer returns home for filming of episode

The topic of this Vernon-featured episode has not yet been revealed.

COLUMN: Bunnies, sexuality and the freedom to read

A book about a gay bunny has been the subject of challenges

Most Read