So, you thought that app was going to be safe for your kids? You may want to think again. Join AMBrewster as he exposes the dark secrets of some of our most trusted social sites.
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It’s fantastic to be meeting with you once again. If you’re new to the show, I and the rest of TeamTLP welcome you.
And we’d like to invite you to start listening to our previous episodes from the very beginning. Everything we discuss here is relevant and applicable to your parenting, and we pray it will be a blessing to you.
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So, today’s episode is called “Apps You Thought Were Safe for Your Kids, But Aren’t.” I don’t plan to discuss every single social app available to your children, but I want to talk about the big ones and what exactly they afford your children — specifically in regard to pornography.
On our next TLP Snippet we’ll discuss The Nashville Statement and how important it is for us to talk with our kids about biblical sexuality; the behavior and — most importantly — the motivation.
I’ll make mention of the fact that the world is daily trying to seduce your children to a perverted understanding of sexuality. And one of the biggest ways it does this is through pornography.
In my ten years of family counseling, I haven’t met a single young man or young lady who hasn’t been exposed to pornography of one kind or another. And as the years go by, the children are being exposed to it at younger and younger ages.
Way back when if you wanted to see someone with their clothes off, you either had to convince someone or steal a girly magazine. However, anyone with a device and the know-how can access the most disgusting images and videos imaginable. And age is not a deterrent.
And I believe that most Christian parents realize that the internet is a veritable brothel, and many of them have taken steps to put filters on their internet. And that’s great and necessary . . . but the pornography industry is sneaky and the app manufacturers don’t have your children’s best interest in mind.
Let me show you what I mean.
The top social apps your kids may be using are:
But before I talk about these apps, I need to tell you something. Even if you have a filter on your internet, it will not filter out the individual apps on your child’s device.
From my own research, I can say with all certainty that your child can access graphic pornography on your filtered internet because of the way the apps are created. The apps are all internal. They don’t have to access a blocked webpage to display inappropriate content. They can see an image of five naked people having sex just as easily as they can see a photo of a kitten. And your filtering won’t block any of them.
I wish I could give you mote details about how this works and the technology behind it, but these programs are being written right now, and the filtering companies aren’t able to keep up. And — like I said — the app manufacturers don’t have your family’s best interest in mind.
Okay, so here goes . . .
1. Of all the social apps, Facebook has the most users, and according to the New York Post, child pornography is creeping back into Facebook. In fact, I’ve read that the BBC reported over one hundred sexualized images of children, but Facebook only removed eighteen of them. In addition, more and more revenge porn and sexual extortion cases are showing up on Facebook. Over 54,000 cases to be exact. And these are just the highlights.
So, while you’re keeping up with the soccer moms and your friend’s opinions on football, your kids have access — not only to pornography — but porn involving children.
2. Instagram is next on our list, and though this company prides itself on banning pornographic hashtags, more and more people are reporting seeing graphic porn show up on the Discovery page of all places. I should note that Instagram is probably the biggest and most popular social media platform for kids these days, and it’s not even that much fun to use online. That means that over 99% of the people using it are using devices and apps that will not be filtered by your filer provider.
3. For those who don’t use it, Tumblr has over 329 million blogs and 144 billion posts. According to the Daily Dot, more than 20,000 of Tumblr’s most popular domains contain adult content. They also reported that more than 22% of the traffic Tumblr receives from other sites goes right to on of the porn sites. The researchers took a look at 130 million Tumblr users and 7 billion links posted on the social network and discovered that adult content has become so pervasive on Tumblr that more than 1 in 4 people on the site will end up seeing porn without even looking for it. At least 22% of the site’s users follow, like, or reblog content from porn accounts, which translates to another 28% of people on Tumblr unintentionally being exposed to porn. That statistic includes your kids.
4. Okay, so number four is Twitter. This social platform has been around for a while, but it’s been gaining more ground among kids who are bailing from Facebook because they believe it’s being taken over by us old people. But despite the amazing, Christ-honoring material you can find on Twitter (it happens to be one of my favorite platforms) many people have referred to it as the “wild west of the internet.” According to one study from the BBC, there are at least 14,000 active Twitter accounts that distribute child pornography. Victims that have shown up in thees tweets have been as young as five. And according to The Independent, with an estimated 10 million “pornbots” — which are Twitter accounts dedicated to posting all types of pornographic content — there are more pictures of porn than of pets, people, or products on Twitter.
5. Now, I would have thought for years that Christ-honoring, informed adults would have kept their kids off Snapchat . . . but apparently that’s not the case. I mean, let’s think about it: a social media app designed to let people send pictures that are guaranteed to disappear and be unviewable by anyone other than the recipient. What could possibly go wrong with that? C’mon, folks. It’s like whispering. If you have to hide it, you probably should haven’t been sharing it in the first place. But not only can its users send pictures of anything they want, more and more sex-related content and topless celebrities are showing up Snapchat’s “featured stories.”
6. And lastly, let’s talk about Pinterest. I know. I know. Pinterest is the purest and most holy social media app out there, guaranteed to provide nothing more than picture-perfect ideas of how to improve your life. And I am very happy to say that Pinterest’s “Pin Etiquette” says, “We do not allow nudity or hateful content.” And Pinterest’s terms of service prohibit what they call, “any content that…is defamatory, obscene, pornographic, vulgar or offensive.” And their community manager goes even further and says, “Photographic images that depict full-frontal nudity, fully exposed breasts and/or buttocks are not allowed on Pinterest.” But that hasn’t stopped a number of users from finding hardcore pornographic content on their regular feeds.
My friends, it doesn’t matter that grandma can surf Facebook all day and never see anything wicked posted by her friends. All it takes are a few well-worded searches in any of these apps and your child can look at nearly anything they want.
And — once again — your internet filter won’t catch it.
And with the plethora of new apps being created every week, it would be impossible to even compile a list of all the apps that are dangerous — and yet easily accessible to your kids. There are apps that allow you text whoever you want without the text ever showing up on your phone bill. Many of these apps ever encourage sexting.
And here’s something else. Did you know your kids can download apps that will allow them to camouflage their phones?
Imagine picking up your kids phone and punching in the passcode you’ve agreed upon. You then scroll through the apps and find that none of the social media platforms we discussed today even show up on their device. You smile and put the phone down. But then your child picks up the same phone and types in a different passcode that reveals the actual apps that have been downloaded onto the phone. And you’d never even know.
There are apps designed to hide photos and videos on your phone. There are apps that allow you take inappropriate videos and photos without looking like it’s doing anything.
If you can imagine an app capable of doing something sneaky or sexual or both . . . then it’s probably been created.
I strongly encourage you to listen to episode 25, entitled “Parents, Kids, and Techtation” and episode 28, “A Prediction Concerning Sexuality in Your Children’s Generation.” And we also have episode 30 called, “Teens and Dating: what God has to say about their crush.” All of these episodes contain valuable information about your children and sexuality.
My point today is not to scare anyone. It’s to inform. The world cannot be trusted to build our children up. In fact, it’s hell-bent on tearing them down because it’s ruled by the Satan himself.
We must be intentional, premeditated parents. We must have knowledge, understanding, and the wisdom of serpents.
All it takes is one image to flash across the screen and your child could be hooked. God created us to be sexual beings, but if we don’t understand His design for our sexuality it’s incredibly easy to be seduced by the world’s perverted Failure Philosophies.
I didn’t create any episode notes today, because today’s content is easily findable with some superficial internet searching. The information’s out there . . . we just need to do our homework.
That’s why we share so many pornography-related articles on our Facebook page. We want Christian parents to be informed so they can not only equip their children, but also protect themselves.
On our next episode we’re going to discuss “Correction that Softens the Heart.” I hope you’ll join us.
And don’t forget that our one year anniversary is coming up on the 21st. That means a bunch of great opportunities and products will be available for you free of charge at TruthLoveParent.com.
I know today’s episode may have been scary and left you feeling hopeless. Please, that shouldn’t be our focus. We should walk away from something like this reenergized to take our parenting responsibility more seriously. We need to prepare and protect our children using God’s Word with God’s love.
If you’d like some help with this process, please don’t ever hesitate to contact us at counselor@TruthLoveParent.com.
See you next time.
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