Online Safety – 13/09/23 – Vent

Vent markets itself as a peer support app, aimed at children and young people, where they can express themselves and have their mood lifted. Vent states that users can only post in the app if they are aged 13 or older. However, the only verification required is ticking a box when signing up meaning younger children could easily access the app. Whilst the app’s aim is to create a positive community for those looking for support, it has been found that it allows harmful peer-to-peer support due to a lack of safety settings and moderation. A large amount of inappropriate and explicit content has been found on the app even after users had blocked certain topics specifically. If you think your child may be using this app or any other app that could be harmful to them, be inquisitive and listen to what your child says. Remind them of what they can do to stay safe online and what they can do if they come across anything that causes them distress.