(WFSB) – A local state representative is issuing a warning to parents and families concerning potential predatory social media apps.
This warning comes after a 9-year-old Connecticut girl was lured through two apps into a chat room and targeted for exploitation.
The girl was allegedly lured into the chat room with the promise of a thousand free followers.
State Representative Liz Linehan is upset with the apps Tik-Tok and Facecast.
The chair of the House of the Committee on Children is calling for all parents to delete those apps immediately.
“The things that were asked of those children in the chat room may seem innocuous to a child, but as adults, we know they could be sexual in nature,” Linehan said.
Parental monitoring is essential and the first responsibility of allowing children access to the internet.
Social media educator Tom Pincince, who has spoken to nearly 100,000 students throughout Connecticut, believes monitoring and limited access is the best way to prepare children for internet access.
“I think the first responsibility and most important responsibility starts at home. To sit down and have conversations parents and child about what is best for them, and when you think that child is ready,” Pincince said.
Pincince said continuous monitoring is better than a complete black out of access.
“Let your child or young adult have a voice in decisions that are made. Don’t sit down and say, ‘this is this and this, and this is how it is.’ Because they will find a way even if you take the phone away,” Pincince said.
Linehan said she is creating an event centered on internet safety with practical advice for parents and children.
She plans to release the event date with a registration available online.