July 24, 2018 11:38 am
Updated: July 30, 2018 10:50 pm

Canadian Centre for Child Protection warns parents about Cake app

WATCH: Signy Arnason, associate executive director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, says the livestream and awards aspects of the new app prey on vulnerable youth.

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UPDATE: A spokesperson from Cake says their product was never intended to be used by children. 

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is warning parents about an app with high sexual content.

Cake is a livestreaming video chat program and the centre said it’s a risk for teens and children.

The centre created an account on the app and said in less than 12 hours of creating an account, they received four unsolicited messages with sexual content, including a sexually explicit video from a male user.

People can have private chats with other users, so there’s an added risk a child could be groomed, said Signy Arnason, associate executive director at the centre.

WATCH: Child exploitation experts say the Cake app has many red flags

“You also want to be having these regular conversations with your kids, particularly teenagers, about the risks of being sextorted … something like that starts to happen and then the person gets their hands on something sexual in nature and extorts the child for money.”

The app encourages people to share live video broadcasts and to video chat with new people by rewarding them with “diamonds,” which can be exchanged for cash value, said the centre.

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“Users can also earn ‘diamonds’ from others by completing specific requests made by users watching the live stream and broadcasting parties.

“This may encourage teens to take risks like talking to people they do not know, who can ask them to perform tasks that may progress to being sexual in nature.”

A spokesperson for Cake.tv said the app is used to meet, chat with, and date people online, and it was never intended to be used by anyone under 18 years old.

“We have NEVER had, and NEVER have any intentions of hosting children or teenagers on any of our platforms, in any capacity,” co-founder Amy Monier said in a statement.

Monier said the app asks for a user’s age, and encourages users to report underage people using the app. Officials said they also have a team of moderators who will flag a user who appears underage.

“If you suspect an underaged person on Cake.tv, please report it immediately with a screen shot, to childalert@cake.tv, and the Cake.tv moderation team will respond appropriately,” Monier said.

Children under the age of 13 shouldn’t be using the app and parents should be aware if their teens are using it, Arnason said.

“The question needs to be begged, why you would use an app like this for live-streaming that’s so sexually suggestive when there are many others with controls in place that are much safer to use.”

WATCH: How can we teach kids to make smart decisions on social media?

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