In a survey published last year, 15 percent of teenagers say that they engage in “sexting,” sending nude or partially nude pictures of themselves via text message, while 27 percent of teens say that they have received “sexting” messages.
But those numbers could be about to drop if a new app that says it stops kids from sexting actually does what it claims to do. The Selfie Stop app, now available for major smartphone operating systems, says that its technology “prevents nude selfies/videos from being sent or uploaded before devastating consequences can occur.”
The app’s developer Adam Hart told the British newspaper Metro that the algorithm he designed needs only “milliseconds” to detect nudity in any incoming image or video. And once detected, the app instantly deletes the nude image, acting as a prophylactic for sexting.
“There are parental control apps that detect nudity but the biggest problem with that is when it’s detected, it’s too late,” Hart told the British paper. “The pictures have already been sent out to their peers. But our algorithm actually detects nudity as soon as a child tries to take a picture or video.”
Essentially, the app simply will not allow a child to take a nude selfie—and therefore, kids are prevented from sharing nude pictures of themselves over text messaging services or email.
The app also prevents the creepy practice of “sextortion,” in which adult predators befriend teens and children online, and cajole them into taking and sending nude photos, Hart said. Selfie Stop also detects incoming nudes, preventing them from being received and stored on phones.
Selfie Stop is not the first app to offer solutions to the various problems posed by nude photos stored on smartphones, an increasingly common practice among both teens and adults. As app released in 2017 and simply titled “Nude” prevents the awkward situation of nude photos being accidentally seen by others.
As The Verge reported, the Nude app scans a user’s phone for images of nudity, and them automatically moves any such images to a protected, private folder. As a result, anyone scrolling through pictures on the phone would not stumble across nude images, thus avoiding any number of awkward situations.
Photo via Selfie Stop web site
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