A 10-year-old girl was asked to send a topless photo to “verify her age” on a popular children’s app called ‘Amino’.
Cahla McGarry was playing on the app when she received a message requesting she take a photo of her “bare chest”.
The message demanded the young girl “verify her age” by sending through a photo as the group is a “safe space for girls under 14”. If she didn’t send an image through, she would be “permanently banned”.
Knowing the dangers of speaking to strangers online, Cahla immediately showed the message to her mum, Nicola McGarry.
“I was scared,” mum Nicola said.
“It felt as if they had intruded into our home. Although it’s probably someone thousands of miles away, it really felt like an intrusion into our privacy.”
As horrific as the request was, the person who sent it was pretending to be an employee of the app.
“Welcome to this Amino group. My name is Mandy and I work with Amino,” the message says.
“So if you don’t know this is a safe space for young girls. We require users to be 14 and younger. If you fit these requirements you can be here.
“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 age.
“This is just an extra security feature but all members must do this. Users that refuse to do this will be permanently banned.”
A spokesperson for the app has come forward to respond to the claims, highlighting their “zero-tolerance” for inappropriate contact with minors.
“Keeping Amino safe is our top priority. We have zero-tolerance for any type of inappropriate contact with minors,” an Amino spokesperson said.
“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.
“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 co-operate with law enforcement agencies if we receive requests for information.
“We are absolutely dedicated to maintaining the trust and safety of the Amino platform.”