Circulating warning claims that a site called “Talking Angela” is collecting personal information from children and taking their photographs without notice.
The claims in the message are scaremongering nonsense. “Talking Angela” is not a website but rather an interactive app made by a reputable and well-known app development company. Like other apps by the company such as the famous “Talking Tom”, the app offers harmless fun to youngsters and is in no way malicious.
This breathless, ALL CAPS warning is currently circulating rapidly via Facebook and other social media outlets. The supposed alert for parents claims that a “site” named Talking Angela is asking children questions such as their names and where they go to school as well as taking photographs of them without notification. The implication in the supposed warning is that the “site” is collecting this information for sinister reasons and that allowing children to use it could put them in danger.
However, the claims in the message are nonsense. Talking Angela provides harmless fun for children and there is nothing remotely sinister or harmful about it.
The message was obviously written by a person who either has no idea what he or she is talking about or is deliberately scaremongering.
Firstly, “Talking Angela” is an app, not a website. Secondly, like apps featuring other talking friends such as Talking Tom, It is designed to be interactive. “Angela” is a rather refined talking cat that children can interact with in various ways. The app is just one in a stable of similar apps created by OutFit7. OutFit7 is a well known and respected app developer. My own children and many others I know have used OutFit7 apps for years with nary a problem.
Moreover, before writing this article I downloaded a copy of the app and put it through its paces. There is nothing even vaguely sinister or inappropriate about the way the app operates. In fact, Talking Angela even has a feature called “Child Mode” designed to enhance the privacy of younger players.
Our products and services are not directed to, and we do not knowingly collect personal information from, children under 13. If we learn that we have collected personal information of a child under 13, we will take all reasonable steps to delete the information as soon as possible. If you become aware that your child has provided us with personal information without your consent, please contact us at http://outfit7.com/contact/.
Talking Angela was even featured on Entertainment Weekly’s The Family Room:
If you’ve got a little one, chances are you’re familiar with a cute talking feline by the name of Angela from the Tom Love Angela app or the video for the duet “You Get Me,” which has gotten more than 50 million views. Now Angela will get her own free app early next month, in which she’ll not only repeat what you say, but also process it and respond.
Of course, it is certainly wise to closely monitor the activities of your young children when they are using any Internet-connected device. However, spreading fear mongering nonsense about a harmless children’s app is counterproductive and will do nothing whatsoever to help keep children safe.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!