Yellow is a free mobile phone app similar in function to dating app Tinder that allows children to connect with local people. Like Tinder, users can connect with strangers by swiping right on their profile picture if they see someone they want to connect with, or left if they are not interested. When both users mutually ‘like’ each other, they can chat by adding each other on picture-messaging service Snapchat.
But unlike dating app Tinder – which raised its minimum age to 18 after charities said predators could use it to groom children – Yellow does not have checks in place to verify ages. As such, users can override the age and parental control restrictions to sign up, meaning it is possible that adults can pose as children to access other users Snapchat and Instagram profiles.
The app has raised significant concern amongst parents and the NPSCC as it enables young people to connect with strangers with ease.
It is important to be aware of which apps and social networks children in your care are using and monitor their online activity. For help protecting children in your care from online abuse, visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk.