Sick online question to 10yo

A GIRL, 10, was asked to send a topless photo to "verify her age" on children's cartoon app Amino.

Cahla McGarry was playing on the dress-up game when she received a private message requesting a photo of her "bare chest".

The message told Cahla the group is a "safe space for girls under 14" and she would have to send a topless photo to prove she met the app's guidelines - or else she would be "permanently banned".

But her mum and secondary school teacher Nicola McGarry, 41, of Prestwick, South Ayrshire, Scotland, has strict parental controls on all of Cahla's devices, and regularly warns her daughter of the dangers of speaking to strangers online. Instead of replying to the sickening message, savvy schoolgirl Cahla immediately showed it to her mum.

The widowed mum-of-one said this incident highlights how easy it is for "predators to slip through the net".

"I was scared," mum Nicola said. "It felt as if they had intruded into our home. Although it's probably someone thousands of miles away, it really felt like an intrusion into our privacy."

Amino is an app dedicated to communities, chat, forums, and fan groups so people with shared interests can connect.

The schoolgirl loves the game so much, she wanted to chat to other players and share her character creations so she joined a Gacha Life forum on the Amino app.

As well as the vile request, the person pretending to be an employee of the app also used the threat of being banned from the service, in a bid to manipulate Cahla into complying.

Cahla McGarry was asked to verify her age with a photo of her bare chest and was offered the option to wear a bra. Picture: Kennedy News and Media
Cahla McGarry was asked to verify her age with a photo of her bare chest and was offered the option to wear a bra. Picture: Kennedy News and Media

 

Instead of replying to the ‘sickening’ message, savvy schoolgirl Cahla immediately showed it to her mum. Picture: Kennedy News and Media
Instead of replying to the ‘sickening’ message, savvy schoolgirl Cahla immediately showed it to her mum. Picture: Kennedy News and Media

"Welcome to this Amino group. My name is Mandy and I work with Amino," the message read.

"So if you don't know this is a safe space for young girls. We require users to be 14 and younger. If you fit these requirements you can be here.

"We also have to make sure that all members here are girls. To verify this I will need from you a photo of your bare chest (with a bra on if you feel uncomfortable) and age.

"This is just an extra security feature but all members must do this. Users that refuse to do this will be permanently banned."

Amino Apps said they have "zero-tolerance" for inappropriate contact with minors and report all incidents of child sexual exploitation to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

An Amino spokesperson said, "Keeping Amino safe is our top priority. We have zero-tolerance for any type of inappropriate contact with minors.

"Our team works 24/7 across seven supported languages to remove content and users in violation of our policies.

"We automatically remove nude imagery in order to prevent inappropriate content from being sent or received here, and we deploy the most advanced technologies available to assist with the enforcement of these rules.

"While we are unable to provide any information about this particular case, we report all incidents of child sexual exploitation to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and we fully co-operate with law enforcement agencies if we receive requests for information.

"We are absolutely dedicated to maintaining the trust and safety of the Amino platform."

Luckily she didn't reply and showed her mum immediately. Picture: Kennedy News and Media
Luckily she didn't reply and showed her mum immediately. Picture: Kennedy News and Media

 

The message told Cahla the group is a ‘safe space for girls under 14’. Picture: Kennedy News and Media
The message told Cahla the group is a ‘safe space for girls under 14’. Picture: Kennedy News and Media

Gacha Life developers Lunime Games, who are in no way connected to Amino, were concerned to hear of such a "serious situation".

A Lunime Games spokesperson said, "This is a very serious situation but it seems that this more concerns the Amino app than our app Gacha Life.

"There is no way to send another user an image in our game, which we did to prevent issues like this from happening."

The Sun is currently running an investigation into Snog.FM - a teen dating site where perverts have been caught targeting underage girls.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission


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