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

20 years of dragonboat racing in Penticton

The Penticton Dragonboat Festival would like to make its 2020 anniversary event the biggest yet

Penticton city council gives itself pay raise

Decision was based on recommendation by an external task force that reviewed council’s remuneration

City to review plans for lake-to-lake cycling route in August

Council heard an update on the process to identify a route at the meeting on June 18

MPs hear retired Penticton nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Breaking bread for the final time at Penticton’s Walla Bakery

Beloved baker Ben Manea died suddenly on June 15, bakery to operate for one final week

Murray McLauchlan delights Okanagan crowd

Canadian music icon puts on wonderful two-hour show at Performing Arts Centre

Rose Valley Rd. fire in West Kelowna has now been extinguished

West Kelowna Fire Chief says first two grass fires Tuesday were human caused

Life’s work of talented Shuswap sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

July is ‘Unused Medication Return Month’

CMHA partners with Shuswap North Okanagan Division of Family Practice for Medicine Return Project

Shuswap car dealership seeks return of unique stolen Jeep

The red 1989 four-by-four was taken from Salmon Arm GM’s lot early Monday morning.

College investigates Okanagan physiotherapist

Stephen Witvoet’s matters are currently before the courts

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Public weighs in Okanagan rail trail parking development

“It was a great evening to interact with the community and hear the input for the property”

Most Read