For those of you who may think I’m exaggerating about letting your kids have unfettered access to smartphone messaging apps like Kik please allow me to share something with you. The Trentonian newspaper in New Jersey claims to have had an actual pedophile call their news offices to discuss apps like Kik. He is said to have called in after reading an article about a child porn sting. What he had to say is both eye-opening and disturbing…
“There are two applications on the internet that kids go on, but adults are also on it,” said the man, who would not identify himself. “I could go on it now and probably within 20 minutes have videos, pictures, everything else in between off the app because I know they’re both still active. That’s where all the child porn is coming off of.”
The pedophile said any predator could simply download the Kik messenger app for a mobile phone, make up a bogus username, and through Kik download another app called Hit Me Up.
“With the combination of both of those apps, you go on and say ‘I like little boys between this age and this age,’ and people would start sending you pictures,” the Gloucester County man said. “Because that’s how I did it when I was doing it.”
“I made a stupid username and within five minutes, I got 20 pictures,” he said of the app that allows users to talk, browse and share content. “Kids are always on. You can even ask the kids on there to send pictures and they do. Those apps are well known in our industry.”
The fact that he refers to child porn an ‘industry’ disgusts me to no end.
As I’ve said before if your kids are using Kik on their smartphones someone would need to know their username to contact them. Unfortunately, since their usernames aren’t tied to their cell numbers too many kids give out their Kik usernames freely.
I urge you to check your kids’ phones not only for the Kik app but check their friends list on the app as well. Make sure that someone like Mr. Industry isn’t soliciting them for photos.