Episode 71 – Messaging apps and social media for kids

by on January 27, 2017

Today we talk about a hunt we’ve been on for a little while to find messaging and social media apps for kids. We talk about what’s features those apps should have and why almost nothing fits the bill.
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Neil Hopkins January 29, 2017 at 10:21 am

Hi John and Ruth,

Interesting subject, and not one I had to deal with my kids thankfully. I remember hearing a story from a tech writer who started finding odd comments on an old blog post and discovered that it was two schoolgirls having a conversation in the comments section. They explained that the school locked down all social media during the day, so they’d just pick an old post and use it to chat. The point is that kids will probably find a way round any blocks unless you keep an eye on them.

I am a bit wary of messaging apps, because they all seem to harvest a lot of data. There was one recently (Metui) that let you turn a selfie into an anime character that was virally popular but turned out to sending all sorts of data including IMEI numbers to servers in China.

As a suggestion, why not let the kids use email? You could set up a private server to monitor what’s coming in and out, and set up exclusive spam filters so only emails from known contacts get through.




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