Badoo is a dating-focused social network owned by a Russian guy Andrey Andreev and it is one of the most popular websites in the world with over 150 million registered users most of whom are youths across continents. It is acclaimed to be the world's fourth-largest social network and it is growing with about 125,000 new users daily. Why am I giving all these statistics? This is just to let know you that sex-related contents or sites are the biggest businesses on the internet. For Badoo it is simply a platform to promote your sexual personality in the most exclusive way that can be appeal to other people with the goal of stimulating real life dating. It is a chat room to showcase yourself sexually, exhibiting all features that can make someone contact you. It's a place to meet unknown people unlike Facebook where you meet with known friends or get connected with already existing friends and acquaintances.
In my opinion, youth should steer clear of Badoo because it's an adult site, especially for the singles seeking for new relationships. How do you trust or manage such online relationships where you are eventually expected to meet physically?
Though some say the deaf, dumb or those with vocal challenges stand to benefit from Badoo, they even said shy, autistic people can be treated in a controlled environment with Badoo since physical contact would not exist at first.
What are the advantages (if any) and dangers of online dating?
Online dating is an example of the other side of the internet. For example, Badoo can be best described as an exclusive flirting "joint". The result of youths engaging in such sites has long-term consequences which if not checked, has devastating effect. For any morally-upright youth, the site is just not the place to visit.
Unfortunately, internet is not about being uprightly moral as you may think; it is about freedom of expression. And any attempt to curtail to such expression has a significant repercussion. So Badoo is exploiting such a platform for freedom of expression for its own pecuniary interest. You may not be able to stop youths from access this site, after all there is no law in Nigeria regulating access to internet content, contact or interactions, but you may be able deter them by exposing dangers and other underground malicious activities being perpetrated by the site, hoping that this may appeal to their conscience. For example, Badoo recklessly exposes you and may damage your reputation from the context of professional morals. How? Once you upload your profile, you may never be able to delete it. Such profile can be used maliciously against you by your unknown opponent. Whatever seed of your information you sow in Badoo will definitely haunt you sometime in future because somebody will do an underground search on you for verification on whom you clam be in the course of engaging in a service.
This is so because most of user profiles are created without the consent of the copyright holders of the pictures used. In a peer-reviewed study conducted and published by Cambridge University in 2009, it was given the lowest score for privacy among 45 social networking sites examined. There are several complaints such as included fake profiles, spamming of email accounts of signed-up users. Web of trust, rated the site with a risk of spam and phishing. Badoo tricks many users into its contact-scraping practices by offering them extra functionality in return. If you have a contact list somewhere on the web for example your Gmail, Yahoo facebook or MSN account, Badoo wants to source it and get your friends hooked too. The site sends messages to all email addresses it can find through your accounts, with minimal consent, promising that a message from you awaited them at the other end. Badoo tells these people that they must join the website in order to see the promised "message". However, in truth, the "message" never existed at all.
What advice do you have for parents especially as it concerns their children's use of the internet & social networks?
Once again, guardians and parents have critical roles to play. These roles have been effectively aggregated for local use in parental guidelines documents which can be downloaded on www.cop.gov.ng. These guidelines are developed by stakeholders and government committee represented by NITDA, NCC, NTA, and office of NSA in 2011, and adopted in 2012 by Nigerian Communications Commission. It's a critical aspect of Nigeria Child Online Protection Technical Working Group areas of focus. Online dating game or real applications such as Badoo application should not be found on your smartphone or computer for the sake of your children. This is where online real syndicate converge to interact and influence your ward. Gangsters, porn predators, drug addicts and prostitutes.
Thank you for your time sir.