Childrearing

Sorry Kuddle, But There’s No Such Thing As A ‘Safe’ Photo Sharing App For Little Kids

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kuddle_appHave you ever wished that there was an app out there for your kids that was a little less educational and a little more narcissistic? Well then you, internet rando, are in luck, because there is no a bonafide social network app for little kids to share pictures on, an idea that couldn’t possible go wrong ever at all: Kuddle, the photo sharing app that boasts; “all ages allowed”.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db2xLRdy4Jc]

The website is an absolute dream come true for people like me who are jaded and crotchety and love to mock everything. It describes the app:

Kuddle is an innovative photo sharing social media app designed for kids of all ages. Kuddle aims to create a fun and safer digital environment where children can learn about and explore the ever expanding world of social media. Our focus is to enhance knowledge about responsible digital sharing by combining elements of education and entertainment. In essence: EDUTAINMENT.

Hear that, parents? It’s edutaintional, a word I could barely type out without laughing because it has taint right there in the middle. So that’s the basic gist of Kuddle, which answers the important “what hast thou wrought?” question, but not the “WHY?” question. Don’t worry, they’ve got you covered:

:A clear pattern indicates that children and teenagers want to be on social media — and they are not taking “no” for an answer. With the dawn of the Social Media Age, it is up to us to adapt.”

This is…hilarious. Think of all the problems we could solve as parents if we just took that tack: “Well, my kid really wants to eat this hunk of dryer lint, and she doesn’t appear to be taking “no” for an answer. Hmm…what to do?”

Of course, there’s a number of safety features in place to keep kids on their best behavior, and they have to learn “netiquette” in keeping with the company’s inexplicable need to merge two words into a new word:

  • A default friend is immediately added to a User’s account (see Kodi Kuddle).

  • Before a User can share a photo, they receive a set of educational control questions that they have to answer.

  • It is possible to write captions on photos intended for sharing.

  • It is not possible to comment on photos shared by others – which we hope will contribute to the prevention of cyber-bullying.

  • It is not possible to tag other Users.

  • Anonymous “likes” – we at Kuddle hope it will prevent the emergence of social pressures such as popularity contests and bullying, but rather increase the possibilities of creativity and appreciation for content, regardless of who shared it.

  • “Friends” that have already been accepted cannot be deleted by the User; this has been put into effect to eliminate the exclusion of any one particular User; only parents/caregivers can delete a User’s “friends.”

  • It is not possible to see other Users’ content without being accepted as a “friend” first (fixed default privacy setting).

  • Users cannot be located due to the disabling of the “geo-location” function.

  • Full names are visible on all accounts – the sharing of inappropriate content will have direct consequences for Users; they will not be able to hide behind a “username,” which will therefore promote a greater sense of responsibility.

One of the “educational control questions” is DO YOU AGREE THAT BULLYING ONLINE IS JUST AS BAD AS BULLYING IN REAL LIFE? because that is a foolproof way to keep  people from being dicks to the kids on there that are easily identified by their full names. I believe that cinnamon buns have way more carbs than I should eat in the morning, but I’m enjoying one of those doughy bastards right now.

I’m sorry, but this is such a terrible idea. At the risk of sounding all crotchety, why the hell do we need more ways for our kids to be online and plugged in all of the damn time? Here’s some other issues with it: I’m not giving my kid my very expensive phone to run around taking pictures with, and because you can draw on the photos, I foresee a whole lot of dicks in this app’s future.

With that said, I’m sure my kid would love this. I waited to show my husband the video until she went to school for precisely that reason. However, I don’t give my kid everything she wants just because it would be fun for her. This is why we don’t have ice cream and gummy worm tacos for dinner every night.

I’ll probably download it anyway, but just so I can watch Kodi Kuddle‘s world burn. My kid won’t be using it, because I don’t like for people to have fun in my house. I do wish the mods a lot of luck, though, they’ll be scrubbing more balls from their network than a golf course ball washer.

(Image: Kuddle)

12 Comments

  1. keelhaulrose

    August 26, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Oh, boy, my friends can’t comment on my photo, so that’ll totally stop cyber bullying. They couldn’t possibly take, say, an embarrassing photo and screen-shot it to share somewhere else and cyber bully behind my back or anything.
    It seems like most of these functions could be achieved through being smart with your privacy settings on other sites.

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      August 26, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      Screenshot it, then add a caption since the app allows you to do that. Not that I’ve thought about it.

  2. Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

    August 26, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    I don’t know. On the one hand, I kind of like the idea of a place specifically designed for kids to learn about how to be safe on social media.

    On the other hand, it feels like this is taking over for functions that could be just as easily handled by involved parenting. And let’s not kid ourselves–teens aren’t going to use this. They are going to use the same sites they always have, whether their parents want them to or not.

    I still think the best approach to dealing with social media safety is just being open and honest with your kids, and letting them know that you trust them to make good decisions–because that’s kind of what you have to do.

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      August 26, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Yep! We took the “thorough briefing on the dangers of social media combined with trusting the kid to make good decisions” approach. It worked out well for us. Kids are smart – they can figure things out. Sometimes they’ll make bad decisions anyway (my daughter signed up for a chat roulette style web site in 6th grade not realizing what it was), but they can’t learn from mistakes if they aren’t allowed to make them.

    • Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      August 26, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      So true. They have to have room to learn from ’em.

    • ted3553

      August 26, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      It involves a whole discussion rather than burying your head hoping some app will do the work for you. You can always find ways around things and that’s where parents need to be discussing what can happen with kids. We hvae a teen and she’s supposed to be so tech savvy but we had a discussion on the weekend and she was surprised at how her dad and I could figure a way around the supposed road blocks in technology. She just blindly trusted a manufacturer because she’s still just a teen and still learning.

    • Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      August 26, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      I completely agree. It seems like a crutch, for lack of a better description.

  3. Bleu Cheese Bewbs

    August 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I get what they are trying to do, but the name Kuddle? It kind of sounds creepy and reminds me of Michael’s similar misguided attempt at picking a meaningful name:
    http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/20300000/Little-Kid-Lover-the-office-20370317-500-571.jpg

  4. Jen TheTit Whipper

    August 26, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    I feel like this is a parenting issue and that kids will find a way around it. I know it’s completely naive but making sure kids behave online or via text is something parents need to address. I just know someone will get this app and then never check on their kid because this app says it will prevent it.

  5. Johnstone

    August 26, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Cue the “YOU’RE PARANOID PARENTS!” brigade in 3 … 2 … 1 …

  6. Allen

    August 26, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    It seems like this attempts to prevent cyber-bullying by preventing interaction, period. I feel like that just makes it harder to see if kids are behaving appropriately and internalizing lessons about proper internet etiquette or not. And honestly, if a kid isn’t mature enough to interact with people online, then they probably shouldn’t be allowed to have social media accounts for a while, anyway. Letting them have accounts but removing most of the functionality just doesn’t make sense to me.

    Also, the part about not letting the users remove friends strikes me as a little controlling. Yeah, I can see how excluding people on social media can be a form of bullying sometimes, but kids also need to learn that it’s okay to limit their interaction with people they don’t get along with or that they aren’t comfortable around. It seems more likely that a feature like that would just force bullied kids to keep their bullies as friends, especially if they’re too scared or ashamed to tell their parents about what’s happening.

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