We can´t imagine a world without social media and all kinds of useful apps. It´s our way to connect with people. As great as it is to keep in touch with old friends, find new friends online and chat with peers, we cannot forget that the internet can be a dangerous place for vunlerable groups.
Social media and smartphone apps have turned into a breeding ground for sex trafficking. Parents and concerned friends might keep track of the most famous apps, such as Facebook or Snapshat, but the San Diego County Human Trafficking Task Force has put together a list of lesser known apps that are frequented by predators.
Most of those apps I have not heard about before, and neither might you. The following list contains the names and the danger the research group discovered.
Is a video chat that allows users to livestream. An investigation by Fox11 in Los Angeles uncovered pedophiles paying for sexually explicit pictures of children as young as 5.
It is another video chat that allows users to connect around the globe. An Washington Post investigation flagged Holla for failing to prevent unwanted sexual approaches on minors. As a result Holla was removed from most App Stores.
The app allows users to share their most intimate thoughts and those users believe they do so anonymously. But the Washington Post found that not only the whispered secrets get shared but also age, location and other personal information. All these information are publicly available.
Plenty of Fish
This dating app works like any other dating app on the market but NBC7 discovered that quite frequently sex trafficking victims meet their buyers through this app.
The instant messaging app has funneled millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. The money was made with sex trafficking and child pornography. Although the CEO said the service would shut down, it is still available in app stores.
If you use any of these apps, be aware of their downsides and try not to support them but switch to another app that is actually providing the users with security and privacy.