Our online safety experts have received reports from our Safer School partners about a peer support app that could be reinforcing harmful behaviour. Vent markets itself towards children and young people as a platform where they can express themselves, “chill out” and have their mood “lifted”. We have reviewed and tested this app and found that it features unhealthy and potentially dangerous behaviours, some of which are age-inappropriate or illegal.
We’ve produced this brief for parents, carers and safeguarding professionals to learn about what Vent is, the risks it poses to those in their care, and how they can respond.
Here’s what you need to know…
What is Vent?
Vent states that users can only post to the app if they are ‘aged 13 years or older’. However, other ratings suggest 16+ or 17+ age limits, as the app may include “suggestive themes” such as profanity/crude humour, mild sexual content, nudity, and drug use reference – content that is not suitable for Vent’s suggested age rating.
Our testers also noted that there is ineffective age verification on this platform. Users just need an email and a password to create an account and are only asked to tick a box that says, “I am over 16 years of age.”