Rumors about Talking Angela, the popular app game, are still going around as of Saturday evening.
The rumors claim that the game is backed by pedophiles, and some even say it’s led to a child’s disappearance, but they’re not true in the least, said hoax-debunking site Snopes.
“We’ve spent a good deal of time testing the Talking Angela app, and it has shown no sign of being anything other than what it is supposed to be. Likewise, Sophos’ Naked Security site also found warnings that the Talking Angela app is prompting children to behave in ways that raise privacy concerns to br unfounded: ‘Talking Angela’ is just another entry in a series of similar harmless apps for kids created by the same developer,” the website says.
False rumors about the game appeared in early 2013, but they popped up again in February.
Regarding the alleged child’s disappearance, that rumor was started by fake news site Huzlers.com, which says it only publishes “satire.”
A programmer who worked on the game recently talked about the hoaxes.
“Angela has millions of people chatting with her every day. They couldn’t hire enough pedophiles to do that chatting. She’s strictly a conversation agent, residing locally on the phone,” Bruce Wilcox told CNET.
“Angela asks questions like what is your name (to address you) and what is your age (to keep children away from certain topics). Parents get nervous these days whenever any question is asked of their kids.”
He continued: “The more realistic an AI is, the more people will see their own fears and fantasies in what it says. Parents are hypersensitive these days. But there were obvious lies being said, so it was more than mere hypersensitivity. They made claims of things Angela said that we know she couldn’t have said.”