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UK News

Mobile app may help protect children from sexting

An app called Oyoty has been developed with a friendly 'bot' which will warn young people before they send out explicit messages, images or send personal details out.

A bot is a software application that runs automated tasks and may also have the ability to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner (known as a chat bot).

The app also uses artificial intelligence to detect when an image shows too much flesh and suggests to the child to rethink before sending it out. It can also send an alert to parents or guide the young person on how to delete the image, without the image being stored by the app or on the phone itself.

The Government's children's commissioner, Anne Longfield, is one of a number of people who are currently campaigning to make using the internet safer.

According to the Mail on Sunday, she said: "The internet is difficult to police and it will require creative thinking to overcome that.

"Apps like this make a start. It gives children the chance to reconsider a post, possibly sent in haste, but not in a preachy way.

"This is giving some power back to children and parents."

Cases of sexting involving children have more than doubled over the last two years, with the police logging 6,238 offences in England and Wales last year. Facebook and Snapchat have come under criticism from child-safety campaigners for not doing enough to solve this problem.

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