POPJAM APP - Danger, please be aware and help stop this App

(26 Posts)
Stoppopjam Thu 22-Jan-15 13:33:49

I am posting here to make you aware of the Popjam app and the danger I believe it poses to children. It is an app which is marketed to children aged from 7 to 13. It is made by a company called Mind Candy who also are behind other games such as Mooshi Monsters, and your child may see this app advertised through using these games.

I have started a campaign in order to make parents aware of the dangers of this app and to hopefully get this app stopped. You can find this on facebook www.facebook.com/stoppopjam and also on twitter @stoppopjam

Without my knowledge my daughter was using this app for a month. It is easy to set up an account, you just choose a profile name and a password and you are in. It is marketed by the company as a game, as a safe environment for children to be empowered and express their creativity. It is far from this, it is a dangerous and dark place for children to be where they are being put in a very difficult position.

In the one month that my daughter was on the app she posted 235 times, and managed to accrue 555 followers, none of whom she knew. She was also following in excess of 800 people as the app incentivises children to follow, be followed and to post. She had posted photographs of herself, in her uniform, in her bed in pyjamas, photos of her siblings, of our pets. She had made comments in public view to other users disclosing facts about her location, where she went to school etc.

I have seen many children posting selfies and photographs which put their safety at real risk. They are discussing in full public view details of their lives, where they are going, what they are doing, where they go to school, how old they are, what their hobbies are and where they like to hang out. These children do not see the danger in this site as they see it as a game, because that is how it is marketed to them through using other Mind Candy games.

POPJAM is supposed to be only for children but there is no knowing how many people using the site are actually adults with sinister intent. I have created an account for myself and it took less than a minute. No email required, no parental consent required, nothing, choose your name and password and welcome to a world that is basically instagram for children. I have posted a video on facebook and twitter to show just how easy it is for an adult with sinister motive to get onto this app.

I have asked popjam how they can know how many adults are on this site posing as children, but in their response the omitted to an answer this question. I found a man on the site who was following my daughter, he was clearly in his 30s as he had posted photographs of himself. I have asked Popjam what his possible motive could be being on this app for children, but again they have omitted to reply to this question. I have created my own profile, I have asked them how they will find me, how they will know I am an adult and again they have omitted to answer this. I have pointed out how easy it would be for me to now groom children if I was an adult with that intent, again they have not addressed this issue in their reply to me.

I have seen photographs of children, selfies that they have taken, when the comments underneath from other users are words such as "bitch" "ugly" and "scum".

Please join my campaign to raise awareness of this app, and follow us on facebook and twitter. Please be aware if your child is using this app as in my view it is not a safe online environment for children in any way, and the makers of this app have not answered any of my questions regarding safety issues.

Many thanks

ouryve Thu 22-Jan-15 13:38:46

How many time do you feel the need to post this?

Surely this is no different to a child having facebook? All children should be monitored whilst online IMO, if you don't like it don't let your child online.

AuntieStella Thu 22-Jan-15 13:45:08

I thought it was explicitly marketed as Instagram for the under-13s?

I think the real message here is how much supervision DC need online, and the importance of teaching cyber security from and early age, and keeping up the messages about not posting identifying information (until they are eye-rolling teens who look pityingly at you).

Stoppopjam Thu 22-Jan-15 13:51:31

I don't know why this thread has posted multiple times as I only posted once. All children should be monitored yes, but this app is marketed as a safe online creative environment for children, and it very much is not that at all.

It doesn't matter how its marketed, there is no way to prevent adults signing up to it and you as a parent should know that and take steps to ensure your own DC's are safe online. I don't really see how they are deceiving anyone tbh.

Twooter Thu 22-Jan-15 14:06:52

I think these responses are ridiculous - I had never heard of this app, and tend to go by the age rating. I think if this thread highlights the app to people who may not check carefully what's going on, then that is surely a good thing. If it's aimed at small children, then presumably the age rating is under 12, so I'm glad this has been brought to my attention. I am guilty of the fact that my children do sometimes spend time on their iPods when I am not sitting next to them, watching their every move, so whereas I do monitor them to a certain extent, it is possible an app like this could have got passed me.

ouryve Thu 22-Jan-15 14:37:02

Do you not check their devices, Twooter? DH or I have full access with passwords to all the devices that my boys (8 and 11) use. If they want something new downloading, we have to OK it.

SoonToBeSix Thu 22-Jan-15 14:39:45

Op you a negligent as a parent for not monitoring your dc internet access.

aquawater Thu 22-Jan-15 14:40:50

Yes ouryve we also password protect things like iPods, iPads etc and ds has to ask to download apps. It's easy to do.

DancingDinosaur Thu 22-Jan-15 14:44:48

Can't you just password protect it so apps can't be downloaded without permission? Much of the internet is like a sewer, its down to you to monitor appropriate sites and usage surely.

Stoppopjam Thu 22-Jan-15 14:50:36

I am not a negligent parent. Yes everything is password protected when she is at home, with me but I did not download this app for her and I was unaware she had it. I had no reason to suspect she was on this considering the amount of times we have discussed such matters as Internet safety. It's not helpful or appropriate to parent bash people. I'm trying to make others aware of this app and believe me I accept my responsibility for the fact I was unaware she had it. However I also fail to see the need for such an app for children or why it is so easy for adults to open an account.

Twooter Thu 22-Jan-15 16:42:19

Yes I do check their devices, and they cannot get apps unless I or my partner put in the password, and we check what it is they are getting before we do so. Looking at pop jam in the App Store, it is rated a 9yr, so looking at it, I may have thought it was appropriate - itwasimmediately obvious that it was an Instagram thing rather than a photo editing thing. I have my children's email addresses coming to my devices, and I check their history, searches etc regularly. Despite this I am grateful that the op has drawn my attention to this app, and cannot understand why she is getting slated for doing so.

Stoppopjam Thu 22-Jan-15 17:26:43

Thank you. Appreciate the support

I still fail to see how the app itself is at fault here. It even says in the faq section that posts may be reviewed by a moderator before being published.

What can the app creators actually do to stop adults using it? An adult can pose as a child on this app just as easily as any app/website aimed at children.

Maggietps Thu 22-Jan-15 19:56:28

I must say that I found the original post in this thread incredibly informative but to be quite honest some of you should be ashamed by your replies! The app itself is marketed as a "walled garden" and a safe place for children to be creative. The OP is merely highlighting the fact that it is anything but secure, my daughter installed this app on my say so and only when monitoring her use did I discover exactly the same issues. Surely this is the sign of a responsible parenting? Any children that are on facebook as mentioned in one post are contravening the rules as there is a minimum age. Popjam has a maximum age (12) but no way to police this, or stop subscriptions when users exceed it. The Internet is a dangerous place, we cannot allow people to produce app's that encourage children to make friends with as many strangers as they can, post pictures of themselves and chat with adults hiding behind an avatar! the risks associated with such apps existing, are far greater than the purpose that they serve. If the developer can't produce an app that is as safe as they claim it to be, they should be forced to describe its pitfalls so that parents can make a decision. In the absence of such rules I would guess that this was the intention of the OP and the purpose of this forum?

ShoshanaBlue101 Sat 11-Jul-15 10:56:28

Thank you to the original poster. I just found this following a nasty incident on popjam. Yes, I do monitor my child's internet use - this app lasted about 4 or 5 weeks and yes, I allowed it because I believed it to be safe. My daughter objected to some misogynistic rant/inappropriate adult words on a site for children and was consequently hounded. It's not like facebook where you can have a certain amount of control over who sees your profile, or who you add as a friend. When my child first joined she did so because a lot of the children at our local primary school joined and they comprised the majority of her 'followers'. New rules state that at least 100 followers are needed to post a photo and since then she has added lots of strangers (and lots of other kids have done the same too who are desperate for more followers) and it is clear that many of those who post on pop jam are far older than they claim to be and posts are not regulated or monitored as I was originally lead to believe.

ShoshanaBlue101 Sat 11-Jul-15 10:58:18

Thank you to the original poster. I just found this following a nasty incident on popjam. Yes, I do monitor my child's internet use - this app lasted about 4 or 5 weeks and yes, I allowed it because I believed it to be safe. My daughter objected to some misogynistic rant/inappropriate adult words on a site for children and was consequently hounded. It's not like facebook where you can have a certain amount of control over who sees your profile, or who you add as a friend. When my child first joined she did so because a lot of the children at our local primary school joined and they comprised the majority of her 'followers'. New rules state that at least 100 followers are needed to post a photo and since then she has added lots of strangers (and lots of other kids have done the same too who are desperate for more followers) and it is clear that many of those who post on pop jam are far older than they claim to be and posts are not regulated or monitored as I was originally lead to believe.

MummyIsMagic79 Sat 11-Jul-15 11:00:29

It's the same as anything of that type. You've had a fright, and now realised you need to be more vigilant about your DC's Internet use. Honestly, it's the same as Oovoo, Facebook, Instagram. There's NO way to know who is doing what.

BluePenInkPopjam Thu 26-Nov-15 18:33:15

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Beeslipper Mon 14-Dec-15 22:51:27

OMG!! Can't believe the hype!! Why on't you stop stressing about what your kids do and spend time with them without internet? No, it is not ard.

Stephsavage Thu 21-Jan-16 23:44:41

Firstly I would like to thank the person who wrote this post I have just become aware of my daughter 9 using this site and taken the time to find out more. I think some of the comments are out right rude and completely unjustified. Well done to the people who watch 24/7 but don't judge someone else when u don't no them, surely a basic we teach our children? Surely the choice to share a valid concern and make others aware of something that cause impact on your own child is a good thing!? I will be contacting the app also and I have informed other parents of my daughters friends to make them aware of the app. I'm shocked that such a site hasn't made it so a child has to give a parental email before completing their profile. I feel this is a reflection on their disregard for children's safety. Again thank u to the person who posted this, please don't listen to the negative posts. Xx

j3221c4 Wed 24-Feb-16 21:04:04

I think you are absolutely wrong. What ever happens with your kids is your responsibility to keep them safe and it is only them who can make the Internet safe for themselves. Yes, they should be aware of the dangers online, but that is the same with every online game online. It is up to them to make the Internet safe for themselves and yes some parents do supervise children's accounts, but some children at the age of eleven need that sense of freedom, whilst staying safe online, but I don't think pop jam is a dangerous app, if you stay safe and are being sensible and appropriate about your actions, but you shouldn't take away things like these from children because then you are not letting them learn and if you do take them away they may feel upset or angry and act in a bad way and won't listen, which is my opinion. But I suggest just talking to your child and supervising the account. I hope this helped.

kentishfrown Wed 30-Mar-16 18:30:07

Hi
I'm a professional working in delivery of online content - in particular children's media. To be honest I'm not sure that i agree with the OP's views but this is just my opinion (although it's one informed by my professional activity). Children have access to any number of points of contact with end users as soon as they have access to devices. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Kik etc - PopJam is the latest in a long line of platforms to purport to manage social interaction in a safe manner for children (see DoBeDo, Habbo Hotel, Miniclip, Bebo etc) and a) your kids do need to learn how to become competent with social media - we no longer live in a world where opting out is an option - so getting involved and in a manner where parents can oversee the interaction is the best way to prepare your children for safe and sage interactions later b) PopJam IS a monitored network and every post has the capability for instant reporting to the mods for inappropriate content (which should have been the first move you undertook) c) the kind of picture content that can be posted is severely restricted until a user has built a very successful following at which point they're closely monitored along with the posts they generate
That being said I do think it could be a useful suggestion for development that somehow parental approval should be needed at user sign-up and have the potential for parents to login to their children's accounts - although arguably that's even more open to abuse. I think it's pretty difficult to get this kind of platform correct and PopJam is the best execution I've seen so far. It's certainly better than instagram which most of the kids in know seem to be using from the moment they get their first phone and where there simply isn't a large enough mod structure to manage the content. Also - for what it's worth - PopJam is no longer owned by Mind Candy but by Super Awesome.

PopjamIsAmazingYouIdiot Tue 06-Sep-16 17:03:12

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now