Parents warned that their children are being targeted by paedophiles on Fortnite
While the internet is a decidedly unsafe place, this threat only increases when children are involved. Certainly, a popular online game primarily used by youngsters was brought to the attention of experts this week. Fortnite, which allows users to chat with people from all around the world through their microphones, has reportedly been hijacked by paedophiles, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).
The NCA has announced that they have been informed of "numerous reports" of people attempting to groom children who are playing the popular game Fortnite. They stated that some youngsters have allegedly been asked to perform sex acts by paedophiles, and others were exposed to conversations which were explicit in nature. The NCA has accordingly issued a warning to adults, and have urged them to monitor their children's activity on the game.
The law enforcement agency took to Twitter to warn social media users, writing "#Fortnite is immensely popular with children and teenagers across the country. It features voice and text chat which cannot be turned off, so it's important that parents and teachers understand that risks broader risks associated with the game and enable safe playing."
According to the MailOnline, one mother from Liverpool has alleged that her 12-year-old son was offered £50 ($71) to perform a sex act while playing the game. And another parent is campaigning for Fortnite's audio to be cut altogether after she overheard her son being asked if he "knew what sex is" by a grown man.
Other concerned guardians have claimed that children as young as 11 and 12 openly discuss the fact that the game is purportedly "full of paedos".
The NCA advises that in order to counteract paedophilic behaviour, and to safeguard children, parents should endeavour to play Fornite with their youngsters.
"Play with them," they asserted. "It may seem daunting, but one of the best things that you can do is to engage with the gaming environment and begin to understand what makes Fortnite so attractive to young people, as well as giving yourself an idea of the reporting tools available within the game."
While there is no exact figure as to how many children play Fortnite, so far it has garnered over 3.4 million worldwide users. As it features "cartoon violence," the game is deemed suitable for those over the age of 12. Currently number one on the App Store, it is available on PC, Mac, Playstation and Xbox. While the game is free to play, gamers can spend real-life money on upgrades for their Fortnite avatar.