Kansas police warn parents about 'Yellow' app

Posted: Updated:

The makers of a controversial social app are responding to Kansas police warnings about its safety.

A spokesperson for the Yellow app sent KAKE News a lengthy email, after seeing the original version of this story Wednesday. Irina Pungaru began by noting the minimum age to use Yellow is 13, and an age must be entered to log on.

"Location services are not required to be switched on at registration; and users can hide their city in the app settings," Pungaru wrote. "When it comes to safety, because our community is young, creating a safe environment for our users is a priority and a responsibility for us."

Pungaru added it would be difficult for most Yellow users to arrange face-to-face meetings with strangers  "Our users’ experience shows us that Yellow benefits teenagers who live in small towns or villages, situated far away from their school and their friends in real life," she wrote. "Our internal data shows that 80% of friends made on Yellow are more than 50km away from each other."

Original story:

A new app named "Yellow" has police departments across Kansas seeing red, and they're issuing an alert to parents about it.

The Lenexa Police Department warned Tuesday that the Yellow mobile phone app "is not safe for children of any age." Yet it is promoted as a social app for ages 12 and older, "to make friends and spend time with them with chat and live videos."

Yellow encourages users to describe themselves with emojis.

A police Facebook post expressed concern that users have to enable their location as they log in. "Yellow is matching you with another person geographically near them, facilitating face-to-face meetings," police said. That could open the door for dangerous encounters with strangers, without parents knowing.

Lenexa Police urged parents to use parental controls on their children's smartphones, and make sure any downloads of apps are password-protected.

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