Paedophile strikes again, this time on the app Musical.ly
A paedophile, posing as a 9-year-old girl befriended a minor and asked her for inappropriate photos. And she promised to keep it a secret.
Muscial.ly is a popular app for teenagers and young children. You can create creative videos with you lip-syncing to your favourite soundtrack. You can share these with friends privately, or post it for everyone to see. However, it is also a potential lurking ground for a paedophile, as narrated by this dad.
A dad posted this story on Facebook.
The paedophile, ‘Jessy’
Brad Summer’s 7-year-old daughter likes to create and share ‘goofy duets’ with her cousins. And that is why the parents allow her to use the app on their phones. And all was well until one day, a paedophile pretending to be a 9-year-old girl named Jessy sent a request to befriend Brad’s daughter. The parents thought that Jessy was a friend of their child’s cousins, so they ended up accepting the request.
Using the instant messaging feature of the app, the paedophile started messaging Brad’s daughter. At first, ‘Jessy’ told the child that she was 9 years old. The unsuspecting child was then asked to send a picture. Jessy then asked her to send a picture without the t-shirt on. When the child refused, citing her mother’s instructions, Jessy asked her to go to the bathroom and send a photo without letting anyone know.
Jessy kept messaging every fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, the child alerted Brad. Brad messaged Jessy that he is a police officer and her IP was being traced. According to the latest update, the account is being traced and the person’s account is being frozen. It is unclear where the paedophile hails from or how old he/she is. Even the gender of the paedophile is unknown.
Presence of mind averted abuse
The paedophile, posing as Jessy must have tried to reach out to many children using the app. However, Brad’s daughter decided to alert her parents instead of just going behind their backs and complying with the paedophile’s request. Instead, she sensed that something was not right, and let her dad take over.
According to a study, toddlers as young as 19 months of age can differentiate between right and wrong. However, realistically, children develop this sense between the age of 7 and 15. Till then, they are quite trusting unless they are taught to sense a wrongdoing.
And in this case, because the parents had probably taught her not to trust strangers online, the girl made a wise decision. And this is a learning lesson to all of us. We need to educate our children about the dangers they might face. Granted, this might just expose them to terms like paedophilia. However, it is better to know the concept than face a paedophile.
Keeping children safe from a paedophile
Paedophilia is every parent’s nightmare. However, educating your children about it is the only way to keep them safe. There are ways to ensure that the device they use has age-restriction apps on it. If you want to know more about how to make your cell phone safe for the use of a child, here is an article about that.
However, educating the child about such perversions is difficult. So, here is a 5 step process to do it.
- Start around the age of 3. When the child is 3 years old, teach them about good touch and bad touch. Ask them to tell you if anyone touches them on the chest, buttocks and groin.
- Forge a strong communication bond. Let them know that no matter what, you are always approachable. This means that if something unfortunate happens, or if someone touches them inappropriately, you will not scold them for being careless. It is not their fault.
- Set down the ground rules. Teach your child that under no circumstance should they undress in front of anybody unless you are around. Let them also know that sending/uploading photos on social media can be misused. And stress on the fact that they should not send any inappropriate images, even to their girlfriend/boyfriend, even as teenagers.
- For older kids, let them keep their secrets. A healthy way to raise kids is to let them keep some secrets, as long as health and safety of anybody are not in question. Children are often guilted to keep secrets by their peers. If you keep a ‘no secrets’ policy, it is going to cause an internal turmoil and will end up distracting them from their studies. And in the end, they will keep secrets anyway, we all did. However, when you add an ‘unless’ clause to the secret keeping, they will trust you more and will let you know if something inappropriate happens.
- Keep a lookout for paedophiles. People post these things on Facebook and Twitter. So keep a lookout for any such news and alert your spouse and child about it. This way, the child knows how to spot a paedophile if he/she is contacted by one.
Mums, due to the internet, a paedophile can abuse a child from the safety of his home. Be alert and don’t let him win.