Recently Channel 4 News completed an eight-day investigation into inappropriate online content.
The report makes for some shocking reading.
“On 50 occasions, children were asked to show or remove their clothing, or change into sexy outfits.There were more than 25 sexual references to body parts and almost 30 occasions where children received sexual questions or requests, some of which were extremely explicit.
No live moderation took place and none of the explicit exchanges – some lasting over an hour – were closed down.
The free-to-purchase musical.ly app boasts more than 150 million global so-called “musers”, 2.5 million of them in the UK. In three years the company behind has gone from being a struggling start-up to now being worth more than $500m.
Last year they launched a linked live streaming site – live.ly. The site is intended for over-13s, but younger children across the UK can be seen broadcasting live from their bedrooms.
Viewers post real-time comments, and can even be “guested” in to live chats.
On one typical occasion the programme witnessed an 11-year-old girl in her bedroom on a Thursday morning, streaming on live.ly. She chats with viewers and asks them to “spam the hearts”.”
John Carr, one of the UK’s leading experts on child online safety who viewed the footage told Channel 4 News: “There’s no question an app like this is a magnet for paedophiles.”
More details of the report and a video can be found on the Channel 4 website.