(13+, Social Networking)
A standard method of finding friends for many people nowadays is to browse through a live stream of other users. This enables them to make new acquaintances quickly, whether online or in person, after locating them. The Wizz app is designed with this function in mind and is so prevalent that your child or teenager might already be using it! For example, as soon as someone selects your same interest in the live broadcast, you may start corresponding with them using Wizz. We will dive further into the Wizz app below for more details.
As an alternative, and by far the most used method, people post their Instagram or Snap profiles and request users to add them.
The app’s use provides the most enjoyable and impromptu approach to making new friends. By far, the most used method is for people to post their Instagram or Snap profiles and request users to add them. Like most social networking and chat apps, your child or teenager can either group chat or direct message others.
User profiles contain their information, some images of them, and most other setup details are regular for these apps. Once the app is downloaded, an account can be established with either a Snapchat account, an Apple ID, or a phone number.
Wizz is often said to be populated by high school-aged teenagers who are bored and desperate. The topics often change depending on the time you are on the app; activity will usually include whether they are desperate for a girlfriend/boyfriend, more followers on Instagram or Snap, or any other kind of relationship.
While the Wizz administration claims to immediately ban any objectionable material that is uploaded, this kind of filtering is not exercised with many types of imagery displayed on user profiles. For example, many profile pics are unexpectedly yet overtly sexual, as are many profile descriptions, etc. It would be fair to say that the style of the app is more of a dating app.
A precaution Wizz claims to take for ensuring your child’s or teenager’s safety is the working of their age verification system. Once their age is verified, they are segmented with other users within their age bracket. However, the means of verification via an AI program performing a face scan is somewhat unreliable.
By no means, shape, or form is deploying an AI to scan faces failsafe. Said there are too many variables. What if a child appears older than they are or chooses to provide the face scan with an image of an older person? Only a username creation, age verification scan, and gender declaration are required.
Wizz doesn’t offer any parental restrictions. This, along with the inherent instability of digital communication, creates the ideal recipe for tragedy. Encouraging teenagers to interact with others in person as often as possible is always important. While finding a friend online is not impossible, applications that don’t demand users’ authenticity are less likely to lead to meaningful (let alone healthy) relationships.
Due to the lack of a stringent age verification system on an app where both children and adult audiences communicate, opportunities for connecting are possible. This is especially dangerous when a predatorial adult searches for users who have been miscategorized due to a faulty scanning algorithm. It is also possible that a younger-looking adult can be placed with a younger audience to communicate with, remaining undetected.
We advise that Wizz not be an app you let your child or teenager use to find people to mingle with. The chances are high that they will be exposed to sexually explicit and inappropriate content from user profiles. Again, we encourage your child or teenager to take the emotional risks to meet new people face to face (and reap the rewards)! Digital hubs like these can potentially breed an environment that can quickly harm a child or teenager.
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