Does the term ‘stranger danger’ apply to social media?

As kids we were always taught to refrain from talking to strangers but in today’s society and generation, talking to strangers online is seen as a way for people to build relationships and connections. In class we learned about several characteristics of social media, one including the ability to develop social networks and generate a community of like minded individuals. Several apps exist today that claim to give users the ability to branch out of their existing social circles that are created through face to face interactions instead to form new relationships with people who are similar minded as themselves but complete strangers.

One example of an app that specializes in online communication with strangers is Yubo. Yubo acts as an online streaming service that’s goal is to introduce individuals with similar interests and hobbies to each other.  This apps interface is extremely similar to the dating app tinder, giving users the ability to ‘choose’ whom they’d like to talk to through swiping left or right. The common question is although these appear to be great apps for young adults to chat on, how safe are they actually? These new apps that enable teens to branch out insist that they are applying strong safeguards to protect users through separation of age and by using artificial intelligence for face recognition and age estimation technology to prevent the exposure of unsafe behavior for young adults and potential child abuse. There has already been a case of a man who was able to navigate around these safeguards and proceed to lure a minor. My question is, how reliable will the generation of safeguards and can guardians and parents rely on them to protect their children from online predators? These kinds of apps also are called into question for their lack of face to face communication and if they will ultimately push society toward interpersonal communication.


2 thoughts on “Does the term ‘stranger danger’ apply to social media?

  1. I think that there is something to be said about the stranger danger that was present in our childhoods, and the stranger danger present in society now. As weird as all the communicating with strangers is, I feel like people are confident behind a screen and most interactions that happen on screens would never happen in real life. I think that the stranger danger we were taught as kids is still relevant today, but social media predators are even more dangerous and more abundant. These apps that encourage conversations with strangers focus on the side of it that is good and can build relationships, every person is a stranger to you at some point. I think, for the most part, it is easy to tell when a person could be a social media predator but I think that we are so used to it that it is not even scary anymore, which is bad. I think stranger danger applies to social media heavily, but not in the same way that it was used when we were young.

  2. I would say that stranger danger definitely does apply to social media, apps like tinder and apps like it encourage stranger interaction. The reason I think the term applies is because on the internet anyone can be whoever they want. You never really know who you’re dealing with on the internet, unlike in the real world where if there was a situation where the term stranger danger applied, there is really only one person who it could be and, easier to find them because people don’t just change faces. However on the internet it is a completely different ball game someone could get blocked and the next minute come back as a completely different person. So a facial recognition wouldn’t flag a catfish because they are probably fixing their image to be the most suitable for their target.

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