Wednesday 21 August 2019

Parents warned of 'bullies and predators' on Piksa app

Some of the users stated they were aged 11 to 14, way under the digital age of consent in Ireland, which is 16
Some of the users stated they were aged 11 to 14, way under the digital age of consent in Ireland, which is 16
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Parents are being warned about the potential for bullying and 'sexting' in the popular new app Piksa.

The Piksa app is popular among teens and children, who can log on and message others without knowing the identity or age of who they are speaking to.

The Irish Independent logged on to the app stating a date of birth for a child and was allowed access to the site, where we uncovered several inappropriate and offensive posts. One pre-teen girl posted a photograph of herself and was called a "fat c**t" by an anonymous user. Racist language, homophobic slurs and other offensive sexual talk was also found.

Some of the users stated they were aged 11 to 14, way under the digital age of consent in Ireland, which is 16.

Director of the Digital Youth Council Harry McCann alerted parents on Twitter: "Piksa is number one on the Apple app store and number nine on Google Play store in Ireland at the moment.

"Bullies and predators will flock to the platform, I have no doubt. Please talk to your children/teenagers about Piksa and encourage them to stay away."

The app does include options to filter out bullying and bad words and a 'block users' option.

Attempts were made to contact Piksa but we had not received a response by deadline. A spokeswoman for Google said: "We'll take action against any app that breaks our policies, which can include removal from Google Play."

Irish Independent

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