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Ban Social Networking in App based games for children

(4 Posts)
AnneH44 Thu 22-May-14 16:14:47

I wonder if there are other children who have been affected by unkind or inappropriate comments posted by their 'friends' through internet app type games. I allowed my children to play 'Clash of the Clans' not realising like many other parents I am sure, that a facility to post messages is available to a children who are playing such games at a young age. Messages can be posted between players on the game which are not directly about it, so it's a form of social messaging which allows for cyberbullying and children to unknowingly reveal personal details to anyone who is in their clan. As the messages disappear from view after a certain amount are in the inbox which is very few (unlike emails which can be saved) parents have no way of reviewing them unless screen shots are taken and they are aware of the need to do this. We found out too late and the messages we wanted to access had disappeared from the screen. I have contacted the games company to see if messages that we felt were inappropriate can be retrieved as we may need to use them for evidence of cyberbullying but they have advised this is not possible. I would like to look at lobbying the government about stricter controls for these types of games, increased parental awareness about the dangers of our children of playing these and a requirement for the games companies to have a way of storing messages so that these are available to be reviewed by parents or any professionals should this be needed over a longer period. Have other parents experienced these issues and how can we raise awareness of this problem and seek action?

meditrina Thu 22-May-14 17:36:23

It says clearly in the App Store that under the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, you must be 13 to play Clash Of Clans.

13 year olds can also join sites like Facebook, and by the time DC are in secondary school they really should know enough about cyber safety to know about keeping personal information confidential and how to screen shot and report if there is bullying. I don't know how easy it is to report abuse in this particular app - my 13yo plays sometimes (started at 12) but I don't think has ever had any messages other than those relating to the game so never had cause to look. But if you think it could/should be improved, have you emailed them? Developer's contact details readily available.

If parents decide to let children play who are under age the game is for may need to take a more active role to monitor when they are playing.

JonSnowsPout Thu 22-May-14 17:42:10

Supervise properly and only buy age appropriate apps? Bit easier then lobbying

DogCalledRudis Sun 28-Sep-14 14:06:34

Even most innocent games require you to have a facebook account and add strangers as friends.
We have a special impersonal fb account for games that dc use.

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