3. Facebook Users Circulated the Hoax
Sophos Naked Security advises people that what they read on Facebook may be an unverified hoax, as was the case with Talking Angela.
Naked Security published the message that was going around Facebook as part of the Talking Angela hoax:
“WARNING FOR TO ALL PARENTS WITH CHILDREN THAT HAVE ANY ELECTRONIC DEVICES , EX : IPOD,TABLETS ETC …. THERE IS A SITE CALLED TALKING ANGELA , THIS SITE ASKS KIDS QUESTIONS LIKE : THERE NAMES , WHERE THEY GO TO SCHOOL AND ALSO TAKE PICTURES OF THEIR FACES BY PUSHING A HEART ON THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER WITHOUT ANY NOTICES . PLEASE CHECK YOUR CHILDREN’S IPODS AND ALL TO MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT HAVE THIS APP !!! PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS THAT HAVE KIDS !!!!”
According to the App Store description of Talking Angela, the purpose of the “heart” button is actually to “make Angela read you a fortune cookie,” not to take pictures of a child’s face.
Naked Security adds that “The use of ALL CAPS, the mis-spellings, the illiterate punctuation, and the almost casual inaccuracies – it talks about a “site” in one sentence and an “app” in the next – ought to have been enough to condemn this warning to the dustbin of history at once.”
But despite assertions from online security experts, many parents are still scared that Talking Angela is a danger to their kids. New allegations have emerged as of February 19 that suggest the Talking Angela scare hasn’t died down yet.
An anonymous source reached out to an Allvoices contributor, and claimed that they knew the original person who posted the Talking Angela claim.
Allvoices contributor Rachael Moshman relays the story:
“A source claiming to know the person who wrote the original Facebook post about “Talking Angela” this week has contacted me to say reports that it’s a hoax are wrong. The post has parents across the world panicked that the children’s app is a front for a kidnapping or pedophile ring.
The source said,
‘This is NOT A HOAX!!! The story you are referring to actually happened a few days ago. Did someone pay you to write this? Why are you saying it’s a hoax without researching? Isn’t that what credible journalists do?
You should know not to believe everything you read. This company’s PR is working hard to fight this. The family is cooperating with the cyber-crimes unit in both local police and FBI. She is not the only person who has witnessed this. They will have a hard time pinpointing what exactly is happening. The theory is that the app is being hacked. Maybe local, maybe overseas. I ask that before you write an article about something that can be potentially dangerous to children, consider reaching out to the authorities to see if any serious complaints have been filed instead of just trusting what some else wrote. Think for yourself.'”
The source wishes to remain anonymous, which unfortunately doesn’t lend much credence to their claims that the Talking Angela app is in fact dangerous.
On the next page, learn about the cyclical nature of this hoax…