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Dad shares predatory messages sent to seven–year-old daughter on popular music app

'We were naive in thinking that our daughter was safe'

Sarah Young
Monday 21 August 2017 13:04 BST
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Brad Summer created the post as a warning call to other parents that let their children use the app
Brad Summer created the post as a warning call to other parents that let their children use the app

A dad has shared distressing screenshots of messages his seven-year-old daughter received from an online predator in a bid to warn other parents.

When it comes to technology, parents go to great lengths to protect their children when they’re using the internet, social networks, apps and games, but as one dad unfortunately found out, this isn’t always enough.

Last week, US dad Brad Summer took to Facebook to post images of a sequence of terrifying text messages between his seven-year-old daughter and a predator posing as a nine-year old.

Brad Summer created the post as a warning call to other parents that let their children use the app (Facebook: Brad Summer)

The exchange happened on an app called musical.ly which lets users create 15-second sharable videos of themselves singing, dancing and lip-syncing but what started out as a bit of fun quickly took a chilling turn.

In the screenshots, another user can be seen asking Summer’s daughter how old she is before wasting no time trying to obtain elicit pictures from her.

After repeatedly asking her to send “pics without t-shirt”, the young girl tells the person that she can’t because her mum told her not to.

But, instead of leaving it there, the predator becomes forceful demanding that she, “make some pics without t-shirt now,” and that “it’s secret between us only.”

Luckily, Summer’s daughter turned to her parents at this point when her father intervened writing, “I am her father and I am a police officer. We have documented you IP address and location. I recommend that you refrain from any other contact.”

Sharing the conversation on Facebook, Summer knew that he would receive some criticism but insisted that his daughter doesn’t have her own phone and was using what they considered to be a safe application.

“I know many will blame us parents for this happening. But we never thought like predators and I guess we were naive in thinking that our daughter was safe on what we thought to be a kid friendly app,” he explained.

“We have learned the hard way. I ask that you not judge us (many still will) but let our experience teach us all.

“I never thought of someone pretending to be 9 to gain access to my child. We live and learn and I continue to do so everyday as a parent.”

So, what can you do as a parent to make sure your child is staying safe?

The NSPCC says that the key is to work with your child as a team by talking about staying safe online, exploring their online world together, agreeing on rules about what’s ok and what’s not and managing your family’s settings and controls.

If you are still concerned or unsure how to discuss online safety with your child, you can talk to someone at the NSPCC on 0808 800 5002.

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