The Summer family, screenshot via ABC7.
An Illinois dad is warning other parents after a terrible scare involving his 7-year-old daughter and the popular music app, Musical.ly. Brad Summer says his daughter uses the app on his and his wife’s phone (not her own phone) to create fun, silly lip dubs with her cousins. However, the fun recent turned dangerous when the little girl began receiving messages from a stranger through the app. Summer had NO idea that you get even get messages through Musical.ly, and thought the app was totally safe.
The stranger started a conversation with Summer’s little girl innocently with a “how are you?” and she began answering, assuming it was another kid like her using the app. He asked for a picture and she sent a couple, again thinking she was making a new childhood pal.
Fortunately, Summer’s little girl knew this wasn’t right and TOLD her parents! Brad immediately messaged the stranger back and told him he had his IP address and was contacting police. BOOM. Then the concerned father posted to Facebook to warn other parents and to tell them how PROUD he was of his little girl and how naive he was not to think that anything like this could happen. He says:
Today we went through something that I feel needs to be shared. Our daughter has an app that she has been using with some friends and family members that went from fun, to making me furious. The name of this app is called musical.ly.
First I want to say how proud of our daughter I am and want this to be a warning to your families. Instead of saying the words, let me show you; see below…
Please, tell your kids to let you know if anyone ever asks something like this, let them know it’s okay to tell you. It has helped us in this situation.
If your wondering if we called the police, yes and they have the phone to pull all of the information to track this person down.
Please feel free to share if you think it can help others….
I know many will blame us parents for this happening. But we never thought like predators and I guess we were naive in thinking that our daughter was safe on what we thought to be a kid friendly app. We have learned the hard way. I ask that you not judge us (many still will) but let our experience teach us all.
Update: The detective has found the IP address of this person and has submitted a supeona to this app to freeze all records pertaining to this person (s). They are continuing to make progress!
To the people who wonder why a 7 year old has access to this;
Our daughter does not have a phone of her own. This app was on one of our phones for use when we were around. She used this app to connect with her cousins and make goofy duets of songs together. We have accepted friends of theirs and our daughter believed this was another one. I never thought of someone pretending to be 9 to gain access to my child. We live and learn and I continue to do so everyday as a parent.
This post is meant as a warning call to others that let their children use this app. This post wasn’t meant for people telling me how to raise my child. My child came and told me and it didn’t get any further luckily. She followed what I taught her. I’m sure that others families aren’t so lucky. The world we live in needs focus on these types of things, say what you will.
To those who have went through this as we have or worse, I stand with you! let’s fight these bastards together and give our children their safety back.
8/22/2017 – update: I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has shared this post. I ask that you continue to do so.
By sharing, we have reached and informed so many families to be on the look out for these pedophiles. This story has spread through almost every continent and the replies have been overwhelmingly touching. From those who comment, to those of you who send me a PM, I read each and every one. I have been given advice, other sites to look out for and most appreciated, the encouragement to keep fighting.
I say that doing nothing, accomplishes nothing. Doing something, at a minimum gives us hope.
There are three points in Summer’s post that are SO important for parents, and I want to highlight them:
1. Summer’s daughter knew what to do when faced with this situation.
She TOLD her parents because she had been trained to. We ALL need to do the same for our kids. We HAVE to talk to them about these dangers.
2. Summer says as a parent, he was very naive.
He NEVER thought this could happen with what he considered a kid-safe app. As parents, we have to KNOW and ACCEPT that predators are relentless and CREATIVE in getting to our kids. Check EVERYTHING thoroughly. Be paranoid, because you have reason to be.
3. Don’t JUDGE.
“We have learned the hard way. I ask that you not judge us (many still will) but let our experience teach us all.” Summer’s child didn’t have her own phone, she used a parent’s, and of course they had full access to her activity. This kind of stuff can happen to the BEST of parents. The fact that their daughter knew what to do when she got the inappropriate messages AND that Summer is brave enough to want to help others by sharing their story tells me these are NOT parents anyone needs to judge.
I say over and over again, I will keep writing these articles and reporting these stories for as long as necessary. And with the proliferation of child pornography on the internet turning people into predators every day, and with new apps being invented every day, I imagine I’ll be writing them for some time. Be AWARE, and be PROACTIVE, moms and dads!!