Sunday 17 December 2017

Concerns over app accused of promoting bullying

SimSimi app
SimSimi app

Chai Brady

Concerns have been raised about an app that school principals are warning is linked to cyberbullying.

SimSimi has been downloaded 50 million times on the Google Play store, and has been banned in some schools for using abusive and sexual language.

The app can be taught to respond to certain phrases and names which can lead to individuals being targeted. If the app is taught to say something abusive when a user's name is mentioned, they can pay to have it removed.

Concerned parents began downloading the app, with one saying: "I only downloaded it to see if my daughters' names are being slated. I imagine a vast amount of downloads are concerned parents checking on their children.

"Obviously (they are) raking in downloads by promoting bullying." This was followed by several similar comments. However, a lot of users said it is "fun".

Last night the app responded with: "I do not talk in Ireland for a while..." followed by an anti-bullying quote.

Irish Independent

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