Just a few months back, two teens were caught for burglarising an ice-cream truck. But it was difficult for the local authorities to find who really did it, as the two had broadcasted their heist live on an app called Periscope.
Periscope—what is it exactly?
Periscope is a live video and audio streaming app that was purchased by Twitter in 2015. The amazing thing about this app is that it works without any streaming lags or filters. The app works in conjunction with your Twitter account. Users can not only watch live-streamed videos but can also replay them again over a 24-hour period.
As the app is linked to Twitter, it supplements social sharing and mobility. It’s widely used by celebrities, public speakers and companies to broadcast their press conferences.
On the app’s official website, they have very perfectly showcased how the app can be used under various circumstances. Like, there is one video slide that shows hot air balloonists streaming live from the sky to their friends back home, and the other one broadcasting the aftermaths of a catastrophe to their concerned relatives and friends.
The aforementioned scenarios are certainly possible with this ingenious app, but whenever it comes to teens, they always know a way to abuse technology, just like in the case of that ice-cream heist.
Periscope—who are the users?
The app is used widely used with its competitor Meerkat also sharing a large chunk of users.. It’s been just a few months, but the stats show a more surprising take off.
- Almost 10 million registered users.
- 85 people are daily users.
- Around 350,000 hours of daily video streaming.
- Most of the users are between 16-24-years-old.
Periscope—the app that live-streams parental fears
There are two potential dangers of this app. First, it can let your teens stream themselves to any anonymous person around the world. Second, those anons can live-stream back to your teens.
When it comes to apps like Snapchat, teens can edit and filter their photos and videos before posting them online, leaving room for second takes. But with a live streaming app like Periscope, there are no second chances.
The app has been classified as extremely dangerous to teens by ABC News’ Investigation.
The investigation also covered other threats of using Periscope like:
- Potential risks of cyber bullying in real-time.
- Sexual harassment.
- Risk of sharing of personal information.
- Location services option can reveal your kids’ physical location.
Guidelines for parents
It’s a pretty new app but it’s live-streaming dangers cannot be ignored. And just like other apps, Periscope also suggest no graphic content sharing but there is no enforced mechanism for that. Just like Periscope users can’t filter live-streamed content, the app developers also can’t. Therefore, parents need to follow these guidelines to secure their kids against the threats of live streaming:
- Get a Periscope account so that you can follow your teens.
- Ask your kids to turn OFF location services.
- Talk to your teens about the safe broadcasting manners and never to share personal information or home address while streaming.
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