CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Two new popular social media apps targeting teens are raising serious concerns from law enforcement and child safety advocates.
The first, “Sarahah,” allows people to leave anonymous comments about you. The app has no age restrictions.
“I could add to the pain and the hurt that they're experiencing in school,” said Jim Dillion, a nationally recognized anti-bullying advocate, author, and school principal.
"Cyberbullying can make kids feel more helpless."
Dillon suggests that parents of already-bullied children should make sure their student doesn’t download the app.
“It used to be, ‘I go home from school and I can forget about [bullying],’ but now if I go home and get on my computer the same thing is happening,” he said.
Dillon also suggests keeping open communication with children about bullying.
The second app drawing concern, called, “Yellow,” lets teens ‘match’ with complete strangers by ‘swiping’ on who they like based on their photos and linked social media accounts.
“Since there's no age verification, really, you don't know who you're talking to you. You may think you're talking to someone who's 13 or who's 15, but in reality [may] be 60 or 70,” experts warned.
“There have been individuals who have shared inappropriate pictures with each other that would constitute child pornography,” a law enforcement spokesperson added.
Police departments across the country now trying to warn parents about the dangers, especially since the app does not verify a users age or identity.
“Because there's no verification about a person’s age, anyone can create a [profile] and pose as a 13 or 14-year-old, and with location settings find teenagers in close proximity to them,” one officer said.