Home Apps Ever-changing social media apps pose ‘serious’ issues for parents, investigators

Ever-changing social media apps pose ‘serious’ issues for parents, investigators


When Nicole Sliger sees Fegely Middle School students using a social media app she’s by no means heard of, Sliger said she makes her personal buddies download and try it along with her, so she will discern out how it works.

A big chunk of her process as a home school adviser on the school is dealing with social media, she said, whether it is addressing troubles among college students on apps or seeking to warn them of the risks that come in conjunction with them. Social media is “no longer going anywhere,” Sliger stated, and “we must teach our children how to use it correctly,” she stated, because “it’s severe.


According to investigators, a 14-12 months-antique female from Lake County went lacking the remaining month after meeting an older guy on a social media app, Kik. The lady was observed safe a few days later in Ohio and had because she returned domestic to her own family, but 3 guys are going through federal fees about the incident.

Whenever Tony and Jennifer Elizondo of Portage listen to something comparable at the news or inside the location, they communicate to their 14-12 months-old twins, Madison and Mason, approximately it. Teens can assume something like an app is “a small thing, however it may have an effect on your life for all time,” said Tony Elizondo, 44.

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Monitoring apps

The Elizondo’s have some policies for their children: no Facebook or Snapchat. While Tony Elizondo thinks there are appropriate intentions with Facebook, a few youngsters get bullied on it, he said.

I’ve visible adults get incomplete-blown arguments and fights, and there is just so an awful lot of controversy on there that if it could get in between grownup relationships and break those, then children are so much more vulnerable,” Jennifer Elizondo, 39, stated.


The parents said they’re cautious of Snapchat due to its characteristic where pictures and messages “disappear” after being regarded, so there may be no manner to recognize what their kids are sending.

Snapchat is the most famous app Sliger said she sees college students use, which Madison and Mason showed. People have this “fake experience of security” with Snapchat, finding comfort that pics depart after 10 seconds, Sliger stated, and with how the app notifies a consumer if someone took a screenshot of what turned into sending. Just due to the fact there’s a notification, though, would not mean people may not get still screenshots or movie a message with another cellphone, she said.

The Elizondo’s said they permit their kids to use Instagram. However, they may reconsider after mastering a current Instagram update that offers a “disappearing” function, like on Snapchat. Still, the dad and mom think Instagram is geared greater so people can observe certain celebrities, together with athletes or musicians, rather than posting about their very own lives, they said. It’s an awesome way for them to learn to be social and all that. You need them to study that,” Tony Elizondo stated.

Federal fees

With apps and Kik, humans can message anonymously, said Northern District of Indiana Assistant U.S. Attorney John Maciejczyk. Kik became more famous some years ago, Sliger said, but it is still difficult because people won’t know who they’re definitely speaking with, Maciejczyk stated.

Ian Smith, 20, allegedly talked with the Lake County woman thru Kik and Skype earlier than choosing her up at her domestic on April 27 and using her to Ohio, where he left her with different guys, Eric Ho, 25, and Bryan Otero, 27, in line with investigators.

Smith changed into indicted in a federal court docket in Kansas in advance this month on costs of sexual exploitation of a child-manufacturing of child pornography, tour with intent to have interaction in illicit sexual behavior, and ownership of child pornography, in keeping with court docket records.

Investigators determined approximately 204 snapshots and four movies on Smith’s cellphones “appearing to depict children engaged in the sexually express behavior,” in keeping with a complaint.

Ho and Otero at the beginning faced country prices of rape and complicity to rape, respectively, but the ones were disregarded whilst the two each have been indicted in advance this month in the federal courtroom in Ohio with conspiracy to intercourse site visitors kids and conspiracy to supply baby pornography, in line with courtroom information.


Maciejczyk stated the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana has had different cases in recent years that involved adults speaking with teenagers thru social media. In 2012, Wayne Wigglesworth, seventy-six, of Valparaiso, turned into sentenced to 10 years in prison for looking to lure a 15-year-antique boy, using social websites consisting of MySpace, Facebook, and Craigslist, according to prosecutors.

Last month, Mark Nagel, 37, of Hammond, turned into sentenced to twenty-five years in prison on two counts of baby pornography after using a web courting website to get two girls, a long time thirteen and 17 send him sexually specific content material, consistent with prosecutors.


With apps constantly changing, dad and mom have to hold up, Sliger stated. She has so many parents who shaggy dog story, “Well, I do not understand those cellphone matters,” but dad and mom need to be “proficient” on the apps their children have, she said. You would not deliver your children something without understanding what it became. Why could you do it with a phone?” Sliger stated.

Maciejczyk said he’d seen a “dating” type app “directed at young kids” to make pals called Yellow. Sliger has visible students use Houseparty, which shall we human beings video chat in organizations. Any app that has direct messaging kills us,” she said. Children below 13 should not be on social media because maximum websites’ terms and situations state a user needs to be at least thirteen- or 18-years antique, Sliger said.

If they had been to interrupt a law or threaten or defame a person or anything, the discern knows they may be underage and on social media. That parent is now responsible,” Sliger said. Maciejczyk thinks “it’s vital” children have a curfew “because awful stuff occurs” at night. He stated he saw a case wherein one man became getting women up at 3 or four inside the morning to ship him sexual content.

For now, Tony and Jennifer Elizondo said they have not run into issues with their children on social media, adding that they are “correct children” and feature busy schedules. Madison performs soccer, whilst Mason performs baseball, and each is in the National Junior Honor Society, they said.

The mother and father’s rules would possibly trade because the twins become older and cross to high school, they started. But even in 8th grade, Mason said he could apprehend in which his parents are coming from. It can be tough feeling like “everyone has it” and seeing his buddies use apps he can’t, but he said he realizes what his parents warn him approximately “is proper, and some children do get taken or something horrific happens.