The Amino Chat App is Risky for Teens

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October 3, 2019

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What is the Amino Chat app?

  • The Amino Chat app is an anonymous social media network
  • Users create their own profile, then create or join communities based on their interests
  • Similar to old school chat rooms, Amino Chat app users are encouraged to interact with each other through video chats, texting, and voice messages
  • Users can watch or post videos, blog posts, and photos
  • Like many other social media networks, users can like or comment on specific posts on the Amino Chat app
  • Each community has news feeds, chatrooms, quizzes, and polls
  • Users can change their identity for each community they’re in (so they can have a certain profile in one community and a different profile in another community)
  • The Amino Chat app has private messaging, which is a dangerous feature parents should keep an eye on

Why should parents care?

  • This is an anonymous app which can have a serious impact on your child
  • Law enforcement officials are warning parents about the Amino app and how it’s used by predators to target minors
  • Students who use the app can come across content that is mature, inappropriate, violent, or profane (in text, photo, or video format)
  • The app can be confusing to use which makes it easier for students to hide behavior from their parents
  • Since this is an anonymous app, everyone is a stranger and it’s likely that no one is who they say they are
  • Anyone can follow your profile
  • If you comment in a public community then anyone can see it

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This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
This app is not safe for students to use unsupervised, but a Green Zone app can serve a positive purpose to help a student to navigate social media and someday build an online brand. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Green Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Gray Zone apps often contain lots of private & disappearing messages, and strangers can use this to chat with students. Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe. This zone can be a great place for family time since many of these apps can be entertaining, and let your students express themselves. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Gray Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone.
Red Zone apps often have lots of anonymous features, adult content, and easy contact with strangers. Supervision is strongly suggested on each of these apps or move your kids to a safer zone. All apps require parental supervision, these apps more than others. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Red Zone or view our list of 100+ Apps to find a safer app with your student.
Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ app reviews at SmartSocial.com

This trend is categorized as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge.
Viral challenges encourage students to do dangerous things to garner likes, views, attention, and subscribers. These challenges can be found across several social networks and may encourage students to perform dangerous activities. SmartSocial.com keeps parents updated on these social media challenges before an incident may occur in your community.

Table of Contents

The Amino App encourages young users to explore their interests and connect with people who have similar passions. However, those virtual Amino communities are uncensored and everyone using the chat app is anonymous. The anonymity raises some serious red flags and we’re going to tell you why this app poses some real dangers for your kids.

Parent & educator training video

What is the Amino Chat app?

  • The Amino Chat app is an anonymous social media network
  • Users create their own profile, then create or join communities based on their interests
  • Similar to old school chat rooms, Amino Chat app users are encouraged to interact with each other through video chats, texting, and voice messages
  • Users can watch or post videos, blog posts, and photos
  • Like many other social media networks, users can like or comment on specific posts on the Amino Chat app
  • Each community has news feeds, chatrooms, quizzes, and polls
  • Users can change their identity for each community they’re in (so they can have a certain profile in one community and a different profile in another community)
  • The Amino Chat app has private messaging, which is a dangerous feature parents should keep an eye on

What types of communities can students find on the Amino Chat app?

These are the main categories but several mature themed communities exist within these categories:

  • Music
  • Video Games
  • Sports
  • Anime & Manga
  • Fashion & Beauty
  • Animals
  • Hobbies
  • K-Pop
  • Lifestyle
  • LGBT
  • Comics
Amino App is dangerous for students according to Wired
  • “Users spend an average of 70 minutes a day on the platform, according to the company, or as much as Snapchat and Facebook combined.”
  • “It's just so easy to act out when wearing a costume,” says John Suler, a psychology professor at Rider University

Source: Wired

Newsweek headline: Kids 'Amino App' asks girl, 10, for topless photo to' verify' her age

Source: Newsweek

The Amino Chat app in the news:

The FBI warned parents about the Amino app.

News4

Not everyone who visits Amino does so to innocently connect with others. Online sexual predators are scattered throughout the community.

Bark App

Equal parts internet chat room, social media platform, and fan art gallery, this network is a place for fans to share about the things they love, but there are privacy concerns and iffy content.

Common Sense Media

Why should parents care?

  • This is an anonymous app which can have a serious impact on your child
  • Law enforcement officials are warning parents about the Amino app and how it’s used by predators to target minors
  • Students who use the app can come across content that is mature, inappropriate, violent, or profane (in text, photo, or video format)
  • The app can be confusing to use which makes it easier for students to hide behavior from their parents
  • Since this is an anonymous app, everyone is a stranger and it’s likely that no one is who they say they are
  • Anyone can follow your profile
  • If you comment in a public community then anyone can see it

What parents say about Amino Chat:

“PREDATOR APP!! Don't let your teens near it. This app is very addictive and has devastated our family.”

“My 12 year old son enjoyed chatting with others who he thought enjoyed similar interests and writing stories was slowly introduced to role play chats that moved into mature language and sexual content and was told to lie about his age and to hide this from his parents. Obviously, this app is not safely monitored for children. We do our best to educate and monitor their internet actions but I learned how easy it is for good kids to be targeted and slowly sucked into participating in a way that is not of their usual character.”

Source: Common Sense Media

What students say about Amino Chat:

“There are lots of predators.”

“It's not safe at all, people can hack into accounts with ease, and the cyberbullying is insane!! DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS APP.”

“This app is honestly so toxic! It started out good but now is just so broken from every side!”

“Abusive community staff, & team amino does nothing about it. The support team is responsive, but unhelpful.”

Source: Google Play Store

What can parents do?

  • Follow our suggestions to help your child prepare for the responsibility of having a cell phone: 
  • Ages 0-10: No phone
  • Age 10: Cell phone safety contract
  • Ages 10-13: Flip phone (SMS/text, phone calls)
  • Age 14: Smartphone (without social media apps installed)
  • Age 15: Smartphone (with positive social media apps installed)
  • If your student has the Amino Chat app, delete it immediately and discuss the dangers of using the app
  • Talk to your student about who they can and can’t talk to online and ensure that they ask for permission before downloading any new app
  • If they want a new app, parents should download it and use it first to determine if it’s safe for family use
  • Remind your student everything they do on social media can be discovered by future colleges or employers - even if they think they’re entirely anonymous
  • When you’re ready for your student to be on social media, encourage them to use an app in our Green Zone which can positively impact on their digital footprint

Conclusion

Since no one on the Amino Chat App is using their real identity, we strongly advise parents to make sure their kids stay away. Instead, encourage them to find safer ways to explore their interests. It’s not worth risking the chance that they could connect with anonymous adults who might have ulterior motives.


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