BATAVIA, Ill. – An Illinois father posted a warning to other parents after he says he discovered disturbing requests for his 7-year-old daughter from another user of popular app Musical.ly.
The app is described as the “world’s largest creative platform,” and allows users to share videos in categories such as music, comedy and fashion & beauty, among others.
It also has a messaging feature, which the family found out about the hard way, according to WPVI.
Her father posted screenshots of a chat with a stranger claiming to be 9, who asked his daughter “how old are you” and “send me some pics.”
“She used this app to connect with her cousins and make goofy duets of songs together,” her father wrote. “We have accepted friends of theirs and our daughter believed this was another one. I never thought of someone pretending to be 9 to gain access to my child.”
The requests continued and the screenshots show the stranger insistently asking for photos “without clothes.”
After seeing the conversation on the app, her father responded, saying that he’s a police officer and that he had turned the person’s IP address over to authorities.
The post has been shared tens of thousands of times, but some criticized him for allowing his daughter to download the app – according to company policy the app is prohibited for those under 13. Her father updated his post, saying that the app was actually on his phone and that his daughter is only allowed to use it when her parents are around.
He wrote on Facebook “This post is meant as a warning call to others that let their children use this app … to those who have went through this as we have or worse, I stand with you!”
Despite posting resources for parents and giving users the ability to flag offensive material, it’s not the first time the app has been the target of parents and watchdog groups. A nonprofit started an online petition in November of 2016 to have all pornographic and adult content from the app:
Requests for comment from Musical.ly weren’t immediately returned.