The pandemic continues to impact how children and young people use online spaces. Now more than ever, it is essential to understand new and emerging apps, games and platforms that can present online risks to children.
We are particularly concerned about the surge in the use of ‘friend-finding’ Apps, as authorities have previously warned during the pandemic that around 300,000 online offenders pose a threat to children in the UK.
A recent report from EUROPOL also warns that a ‘sharp increase in the amount of self-produced indecent material’ could lead to increases in child sexual exploitation online.
Friend Finding Apps Explained
Many will be familiar with the function of ‘swiping right’ and ‘swiping left’ – found in popular dating apps, including Tinder. The premise is simple: swiping right expresses interest in chatting further and swiping left moves to the next user. In any case, this function is based on finding others to chat with.