Hoaxes & Rumors

Talking Angela App Goes Viral. Again.

Talking Angela App Goes Viral. Again.

After a slow build-up this week, the Talking Angela hoax exploded online tonight, with more accusations and rumors heaped upon the interactive app for children.

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In February 2013, rumors swirled that an app called Talking Angela was spying on children, snapping pictures, and asking inappropriate questions. We debunked that rumor at the time, but in recent weeks the same accusations have surfaced once again. This time we are seeing more narratives and implications, with no facts or evidence whatsoever. In the wake of the rumor, a fake news report also circulated that a boy disappeared after installing the app.

It was established last year that the rumors regarding Talking Angela were unfounded. Consider:

  • Had the app been “dangerous” the first time this rumor circulated, it would have certainly been pulled by Apple and Google due to complaints at the time.
  • With its vast numbers of downloads, it does not stand to reason that there would be a person on the other end of each play session as some have suggested.
  • Aside from anonymous narratives such as those below, there have been no police reports of such criminal activity taking place with this app.

Below are some examples of graphics heavily shared on Twitter overnight, each of them warning of the dangers of downloading the Talking Angela app.

The following example tells the tale of a child who was frightened by the game because it was asking personal questions. It erroneously claims that the Talking Angela site was taken down because it was a “creep behind the computer trying to get people’s personal info.” The developer’s website was never shut down, and there is no evidence this story is true.

angela1

This example claims that the app is “actually a hacker sitting behind that webcam, able to see you but you can’t see him.” The writer of this warning, however, fails to point out that this could only be achieved if hundreds of thousands of hackers were all working together at once to fulfill the vast number of users of the app.

angela7

 

This graphic lists several reasons why you should avoid the Talking Angela app, including the claim that the reason the app “takes a second for her to say something” is because there “is a guy behidn all of this that is a hacker.”

Again, the logistics are unaccounted for when hundreds of thousands of people are using the app at the same time.

angela9

angela6

A longer narrative below has also been circulating heavily this week. This story tells of the Talking Angela app asking inappropriate questions to the writer’s child.

The writer stated that the app was under “serious investigation” – which is wasn’t.

angela4

Some Twitter users even circulated an image allegedly of the creator of Talking Angela. The man in that photo, however, is completely unrelated to the app, and is currently serving a 100-to-life sentence in a California prison, and was incarcerated long before the Talking Angela app was released. It appears as though someone simply lifted the man’s photo and claimed he was the creator of Talking Angela.

Developer: Hoax is “Ridiculous”

The Guardian interviewed two executives with Outfit7, the developer of Talking Angela. CEO Samo Login stated:

“Obviously, it’s a hoax. I don’t know how it got started or how it got traction. These things just happen. We have millions of users every day using this app. Can you imagine, we’d need an army of paedophiles. It’s ridiculous. Even though it could be easily believed that you are talking to a person, if you pay some attention, everybody can easily find out that it’s not a person on the other side: it’s only a semi-intelligent conversation that you’re having.”

Regarding questions about content, Outfit7 posted a FAQ about the game in hopes of quelling rumors about the app.

Upon initial download, users are given the option to play the Talking Angela app in child mode, a function specifically designed to safeguard the privacy of young players. Within child mode, the chat bot feature is disabled so Talking Angela can respond only to touch and repeat what she hears over the microphone, similar to other apps within the Talking Tom and Friends series. Child mode can be selected at any point within the app’s settings.

If child mode is not selected, chat bot will be enabled and Talking Angela will engage in two-way communication with the user.

#3 on App Store

On February 21, Mashable reported that Talking Angela had reached #3 on the app store on the heels of the latest controversy.

Bottom Line

The Talking Angela app is not dangerous and does not spy on those who use it.

Updated February 23, 2014

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  • Isabel

    Is that really necessary? Most people on this page are worried parents. Saying stuff like this is just pointless.

    • John Baker
  • Kay

    I have seen this everywhere and seriously. Jokes over. I played this app on my iPod and all she asked me was my name and age. So I told her my name is Sally and I’m 62 (so I would seem like the “pedo” of the conversation). She didn’t do anything inappropriate or rude, and I was egging her on saying gross things but she only dismissed them with a wave of her hand. Also, the image of the “man” in her eyes is a static image, meaning it’s not a live video feed or anything. And the image stays in her eyes ALL THE TIME, INCLUDING THE ANIMATION. And that concludes that outfit7 was just trying to make the game seem realistic. I don’t know what all of you are on, but when I looked at her eyes all I saw was one of the cafe tables and a shadow from the table from the sun. I have an older iPod so she didn’t ask me to remove my fingers from the camera and I didn’t have the ability to turn on the camera from the app ( where she recognizes facial gestures and such). I don’t know what’s wrong with people, but there is nothing wrong with the app. All the people saying they got viruses are just liars and they have no proof. Nobody should believe these dirty lies.

  • kat

    I’m 14 and me and my friend amber heard about this app. We thought it was funny so we decided to download it while we were in school. At first the app was fine, then it asked weird questions about sex. We thought that was funny. Then, a camera popped up with a pic of a man with a black hat and sunglasses and talking Angela wrote “everyone can discuise their true identity through sunglasses.” It really scared me. Then it asked our name and we made up a fake one “scarlette”. She knew were we lying and she knew how old we were. This app is seriously hacked and no one should download it.

  • Nelly

    Guys, seriously it’s obvious this is a hoax, if someone really would hack Angela, you actually think they would put a photo of themselves in her eyes that’s just a stupid way to get caught red handed, and if this was true, would this app be on the App Store? No it wouldn’t! Guys your brains are tormented, it’s not even real!

  • Chloe

    I don’t believe it. Nobody has acknowledged the fact that the ‘man in the eye’ was a LIFTED photo. Someone is obviously trying to scare and frame us all. In addition, if the photo is NOT lifted, then it could simply be an example. For instance, it could be the reflection of the man who was using the Talking Angela app.

  • Holly Bennett

    Of course my 12 yr old daughter downloaded it after I warned her not to. Not only did it ask personal questions but it said ‘i drug my victims and rape them and masks out of their faces. This is what will happen to your babies’, and after the flash went off it told her they would come to her house when her parents weren’t home. I see alot of postings about this being a hoax but I know what it said to my daughter and it creeped us out. Hopefully somebody will investigate this and get to the bottom of it.

  • Danny

    This is like Cleverbot. It’s just a “semi-intelligent” computer talking to you. Doesn’t everyone forget Cleverbot and when you asked “are you human or robot?” It responded that it was a human. That thing asked way creepier things. They learn with people As they chat with them, just like Google search.I’ve had this application since it came out. Everyone just needs to calm down.

  • JellyJ

    Right, I’m utterly confused at the moment I’m not sure if it’s real, or fake. Like, these apps are normally dangerous. I got this way back, last summer. My friend had the “Tom Loves Angela” app when i came to hers. It was cool, i could type to Angela and it responded, like the ordinary app, Talking Angela. Well, i downloaded Talking Angela thinking it was one of them usual apps OutFit7 make, you speak, they mimic your voice. And i pressed no when it said “would you like this on child mode” i pressed no. I had this app for ages, because it didn’t need wifi and my dad swiches the wifi off before i go to bed so i don’t spend hours on YouTube and all them stuff. Well i had this for many months and i just deleted it because it took up too much space. There was loads and loads of people talking about it on Instagram. This girl took a photo very closr to her eye and you could see a room, and half a man. I found that super weird. But the question is, why do they ask for your name, or your age? THIS IS REAL: my good friend was on the app to investigate a bit. She had the camera button on, where she reacts to your facial expressions, and Angela said this: “I must be taking a photo of you now! Your blushing and smiling like an elephant.” I freaked when i saw she had said that. But, there’s tons of apps like this, Talk To Eve (Talk To Eve was much worse, it swore and was telling me to have sex :O) Cleverbot, Exsitor and SimSimi.
    Hope somebody can help me, and i mean HELP!

  • waffles

    It has been suggested that Talking Angela interprets “Illuminati” as “illuminate” with the assumption that you want the flashlight turned on.

  • Lol

    Maybe it’s true that behind the app is a hacker. “Angela” will ask you some questions like: ” What’s your name?” “Where do you go to school?” and other things like this.When you ask her ” Are you rape boys or girls?” She will answer “Yes I rape girls”. A girl shoulded got killed from this app. And she knows information from you, that you never told her. And she knows when you lie. In her eyes you can see a man in a room somethimes.Please DON’T download this app!!! It’s dangerous!!!

  • Im scared to death

    I found out yeserday from a friend now I cannot sleep I dreamed that they would find me. Delete this within 5 days and you’ll be safe or cover up the camera.

  • Unknown

    I am warning you, what people have said on this site is true! There is someone behind the eye, there’s someone trying to get your personal information. Do not download this app. Once you have downloaded it, you can’t delete it. It will get all your personal Information and hack You. It will also be able to see who your texting what you look like who your friends are and so on. I REPEAT DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS APP

  • nlove98

    I know usually these “Facebook Hoaxes” aren’t true, but this one just seems different. I didn’t believe it, so my boyfriend downloaded it to try. Then he sent me the screenshot and I got really scared when I saw the eyes. It’s so obvious there’s someone watching in the cats eye…? It’s not “reflection of the cafe” it’s literally a guy watching you in a chair with the painting in a background. I didn’t say anything bad to me when I got it, but it started to talk about movies right before I left. I saw a lot of people said once she gets to that point she’ll say “my tongue can do action” or something and that’s when it gets weird. My boyfriend said it was asking him what city he lives in. Even if this app isn’t bad, it shouldn’t be asking things like that. 99% of adults aren’t going to use this, mostly little kids will, it’s like geared toward kids.

    • lovlycake18

      Its not paintings it a house I think cause I searched it up and a house popped out and u can see a guy with a hat on don’t download its for your own safety!!!

  • emily

    if you take a picture of the app and zoon in on Angela’s right eye you can see a man.

  • Noir

    I had this Talking Angela for over a year and nothing has happened. It only asked my for my name and if I wanted to talk about Tom/her boyfriend. She also asked me if I wanted to talk about traveling and Paris but nothing inappropriate. And btw she only asked for my name so then when I go on next time she will say,”Hi! Welcome back (name)!” You can even lie for what your name is and nothing will happen. All she said was,”Great!”

  • Haley

    A friend of mine downloaded this app, it knew her hair color and it had a typo. Normal apps don’t have typos as they are looked over several times before publishing. She has a screenshot to prove it

  • Unknown

    I actually think this is true. After seeing all the reviews this creeps me out. My friend had this and she/he is telling his/her dad to hack into it and see what’s going on. P.S dad is a police

  • Kelly

    Talking Angela isnt appropriate for children at all. My 10 year old daughter downloaded it and she let me hear some of the things Angela would say. Angela asked my daughter if she had ever shoplifted before. My daughter said no and Angela said it was ok too every now and then. Then she asked my child if she ever lied. WTF!!!! I deleted the app immediately!

  • Cathy Dinh

    I am super scared. They talked about it at my school, and I had classmates who has/had the app. Thank goodness I’ve never downloaded it, it would end in bad events.

  • Hannah

    Seriously, don’t download that app. I haven’t and thank God, but my friend has it and after all these reviews online and seeing what my other friends had to say, it scares me. Being one the only smart teenagers left out there, I advise you to not download it. The second you do, all your information-and I mean personal,personal,personal information- is sent to the hacker or pedophile or whatever. This isn’t safe.

    If you see the pictures of “Angela,” right off the bat you can see in her pupils, there is a room. It looks like a living room. To me, this suggests that “Angela” can see you. How creepy is that?

    Seriously, don’t download this app! Even if you just want to check it out, look at these reviews.. Not the app. Be safe! The internet/app stuff is dangerous..

  • Lily

    Take a picture of Angela. Then zoom into her eyes. You can see a room and maybe a person staring right at you. I still have nightmares about it, DO NOT download it.

  • Anonymus

    No wonder this is so freaky. My best friend and i were playing it and then we said lets make it look like we’re awful people. Then she’s like ‘Where do you live? and we’re like none of your damn business Angela. We took a screenshot and I zoomed it in accidentally. Then we saw some guy in her eyes and it was NOT us. She asked me personal stuff too

  • Bill

    I got this app it was really bad it said “Where do you always go” I messaged Im not saying then I took a snapshot and zoomed into her eyes and there was a room and a hacker beware post this to your friends.

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