App Safety Alert – Likee (The extra ‘e’ isn’t a typo 😉)
By 2022 it’s estimated that 85% of all internet traffic online will be videos (Cisco, 2019).
We’ve seen reports in the last few days of the Likee App, which has parents, carers and teachers worried. As always, we’re monitoring Apps like this to make sure you have the information you need, when you need it.
Here’s what you need to know
- Likee is a short video creation platform where users can be creative, share videos, add music, and use filters.
- Users can search different hashtags and explore content posted by others worldwide, with the option to filter by location.
- You don’t need an account to watch the most popular videos, but users do need to be logged in to access video content posted by nearby users.
- Users can comment on videos, and they have the option to control who leaves comments on their posts.
- Accounts can be created using a phone number, Facebook, or Instagram account. Date of birth is also required – but this information is not shown publicly.
- The app uses levels to encourage users to earn more XP (experience points). Which are earned by opening Likee every day, watching/posting videos, fan growth and sending/receiving gifts.
- Likee features in app purchases, whereby users can buy ‘diamonds’ and gift these as ‘beans’, which can be cashed out of the app for real currency.
- Users can click the top right corner to ‘reward’ another user.
What are the risks?
- There are no age restrictions when signing up to the app.
- The app can feature inappropriate content, including suggestive language & violence.
- You CANNOT make an account private.
- In the safety settings ‘Hide Location’ & ‘Hide my Videos in Nearby’ are automatically set to public by default.
- Likee has substandard reporting functions – Users can report videos but there is no function to report a live stream or another user.
- There’s scope for grooming, coercion and abuse through its gifting feature.
- As per other live streaming/video platforms, viewers can manipulate the actions of users by gifting.
What you should do
- Have open and honest conversations with children and young people in your care about not sharing personal information online.
- Check that young people know how to turn off location settings, and configure safety settings on the Apps they use.
- Check that they only engage with other people they know online.
- Check that they understand what they should do if they see something online that upsets or worries them.
- If you are concerned about an App your child is using, download it and use it yourself- or use it together to get a feel for it.
If your child has been approached inappropriately by an adult online- you should contact the police immediately.
Don’t forget! Check out the Live Streaming section of your Safer Schools App for more help & information.