SimSimi: 'My daughter's friend told her there was stuff being written about her... really nasty things'

SimSimi: 'My daughter's friend told her there was stuff being written about her... really nasty things'

Parents of young children are being urged to be extra vigilant over their kids' use of the hugely popular app 'SimSimi'.

It is the top trending app in Ireland.

It uses a combination of artificial intelligence and input from users to conduct anonymous conversations.

The app allows people to view messages left anonymously about them, by typing in their name.

Some schools have expressed concerns about the app, amid reports that kids have been left upset by the responses they have received.

One mother explained her child's experience.

"My daughter's friend in school told her there was stuff being written about her on the app.

"She had no phone at the time and she came home from school and told me about it, so I downloaded the app and typed in her name and all the really nasty things started to come up then," she said.

The app does state: "Harass, abuse, defame or otherwise infringe on any other party, you may be subject to civil or criminal penalties."

However it is unclear as to how this is policed.

    Webwise.ie recommends parents to do the following if their child is being bullied.

  • Don’t Reply: Young people should never reply to messages that harass or annoy them. The bully wants to know they have upset their target. If they get a response it feeds into the problem and makes things worse.
  • Keep the Messages: By keeping nasty messages your child will be able to produce a record of the bullying, the dates and the times. This will be useful for any subsequent school or Garda investigation.
  • Block the Sender: No one needs to put up with someone harassing them. Whether it’s mobile phones, social networking or chat rooms, children can block contacts through service providers.
  • Report Problems: Ensure your child reports any instances of cyber-bullying to websites or service providers. Sites like Facebook have reporting tools. By using these, your child will be passing important information to people who can help eradicate cyber-bullying.
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