A fake staff for the popular children’s app Gacha Life reportedly told a 10-year-old girl to send a topless photo to verify her age and sex, threatening that she would be ‘permanently banned’ from the app if she didn’t follow the rules.
10-year-old Cahla McGarry was sent messages making the request.
“Welcome to this amino! My name is Mandy and i [sic] work with amino!,” the message said. “So if you didn’t know. This is a safe space for young girls. We require users to be 15 and younger. If you fit these requirements you can be here.
The message continued: “We also have to make sure that all members here are girls. To verify this I will need from you a photo of your bare chest (with a bra on if you feel uncomfortable) and your age. This is just an extra security feature but all members must do this.
“Users that refuse to do this will be permanently banned,” the fake employee threatened.
The child immediately alerted her mother, Nicola McGarry.
“I was scared. It felt as if they had intruded into our home,” Nicola expressed. “Although it’s probably someone thousands of miles away, it really felt like an intrusion into our privacy.”
The Sun noted: “The schoolgirl loves the game so much, she wanted to chat to other players and share her character creations so she joined a Gacha Life forum on the Amino app.
“Amino is an app dedicated to communities, chat, forums, and fan groups so people with shared interests can connect.”
Animo Apps condemned the horrifying incident and said that they have “zero-tolerance for any type of inappropriate contact with minors.”
A spokesperson said: “Keeping Amino safe is our top priority. We have zero-tolerance for any type of inappropriate contact with minors. Our team works 24/7 across seven supported languages to remove content and users in violation of our policies.
“We automatically remove nude imagery in order to prevent inappropriate content from being sent or received here, and we deploy the most advanced technologies available to assist with the enforcement of these rules,” the statement added.
“While we are unable to provide any information about this particular case, we report all incidents of child sexual exploitation to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and we fully cooperate with law enforcement agencies if we receive requests for information.”
The spokesperson added: “We are absolutely dedicated to maintaining the trust and safety of the Amino platform.”
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