It has been brought to our attention that a free app called musical.ly contains adult material and could be used to groom children. For this reason, we need to warn parents that what appears to be a harmless, fun application can pose a serious threat to the safety of your child.
Musical.ly is a social network for sharing user-generated music and videos. Many children enjoy the ‘lip-sync’ element of the app as well as browsing videos created by others. Videos are generally shared between groups of friends and can be saved as private, but the other content is freely available and is not ‘policed’.
The app states that it is not to be used by children under the age of 13. The terms and conditions say that it is intended for users over the age of 18.
In addition, musical.ly links directly to another app entitled live.ly which has no safety settings and permits anybody to enter into a conversation with your child. Through this, they are at serious risk of being exposed to extremely inappropriate content and conversations.
There are current ongoing investigations with the police and CEOP into claims of grooming via this app. We consider this to be a valid threat to the young people using musical.ly and would urge parents to remove the app from their devices.
This guidance adds to our E-Safety page on the website and fits well into our work for Safer Internet Day later this half-term.