The site has been discussed on both Netmums and Mumsnet, popular parenting sites, where parents have voiced concerns over the website, citing examples of children being sent inappropriate messages, accounts being hacked and children warned for reporting others.
Parents also questioned the website’s rewards for befriending strangers and options that allow players to be boyfriend or girlfriend. I was not asked for an email address or prompted to tell an adult what I was doing.
There are also plenty of sites that offer hacking tools for Movie Star Planet; this would point to a blatant breach of the rules and security of the site but it’s not clear what, if anything, the site is doing about it.
It is very difficult to effectively monitor any site which is created purely for children and there are certainly many more security measures which Movie Star Planet could take to ensure the safety of its members.
Within minutes I had created a character and was able to participate in chatrooms, some of which are called Love Cafe and Lovers Beach.
Some of the members had fairly innocuous names such as ILove Animals but others were called Lover Girl and District Lover.
I clicked on report and another option asked if I was sure.
Again Mumsnet members reported concerns that their children’s accounts had been hacked and the Star Coins they had collected had been taken.
Unfortunately sites like this do attract adults and it is clear from what parents have said and from our own research that the rules are being breached and complaints are not being handled as well as they could be.
As ever we would urge parents to monitor their children’s internet usage and encourage them to report anything which might disturb or unsettle them.
Parents have the ultimate control over what their children see online and so it would be wise to use your own discretion at all times but to also ensure that you have access to parental controls and an up-to-date anti-virus system.
Although the Internet is a great source for research projects and other information, there are also dangers involved with surfing the Web.
A member started chatting to me and his second question to me was to ask if I had a ‘fone’ and could I give him my number.