A new social media website for teenagers with web cameras could quite possibly be a perfect cover for predators.
Some of it appears innocent, kids on camera showing off their talents like singing or dancing. But it can quickly turn sexual by someone in the chatroom.
In fact, I saw it happen firsthand when I was logged on to YouNow.com.
YouNow.com is a website to watch broadcasters live, chat with them, make new friends and grow your fan-base. It's another social media platform many teens and pre-teens are flocking to.
“My eyes got really big and I thought this is kind of creepy. Chris Hansen is gonna walk in at any point and time,” Patrick Allmond said.
Social media expert Patrick Allmond makes it his business to know all there is to know about online marketing and the trends on the web.
“Looks like bored, underage kids in their rooms on there,” said Allmond. “Sites like this seem to be created because we're all interested in our 15 minutes of fame. But you have the ultimate combination of that and it's summer time, and there are many teens and pre-teens at home sitting bored. They don't realize the impact of their reactions. So hey, why not close the bedroom door when mom or dad is at work and broadcast live and see what happens?”
Who knows what they're going to do live on camera? And who knows who will see it? Because users in the chatroom are anonymous, it could leave it wide open for sexual predators.
“You have kids in their rooms, door closed with fans saying ‘hey, here's a bully I don't like. Here's their cell number. Crank-call them with this message.’ And it's scary. I was seeing phone numbers and watching the crank call live,” Allmond said.
It's usually a one-way chat where users make requests to the person on camera. Some of it is innocent, but several other chat rooms are categorized as "Twerking," "Truth or Dare," "Girls or Guys." If you're looking for mischief, you could probably find it here.
“This would be a playground to sit there and ask the kids to prank call a number, but really give them their number which could lead to something else,” Allmond said.
YouNow.com posts their rules and regulations, and it clearly states, "No nudity or sexually explicit language or images." How well is this policed? We don't know. Go to the website and take a look for yourself. You'll quickly see why we're doing this story.