Have you ever heard of Spoon? More importantly, has your child ever heard of it, could they be using it right now, and is Spoon Radio safe?
What Is Spoon?
Spoon Radio (which users refer to by either the full name or simply “Spoon”) has been around since 2016 and was created by a South Korean company that was originally called MyKoon. (They have since changed their name to Spoon Radio, Inc.) It’s an audio streaming platform where anyone can have their own show, interact with listeners, and even earn money from their fans. People use their own voices when they’re on Spoon. There are no disguises.
When people use Spoon, they can talk about whatever they want for the most part. Many users just choose to go live and start talking. There’s no video prepping or staging. Once you get some fans, they can even buy you virtual gifts that you can redeem for cash.
What’s the Age Limit?
To go live or use Spoon in any capacity, you must be at least 13 years old. More than 60% of Spoon users in the United States are between the ages of 13 and 24 years old.
A Spoon spokesperson tells Parentology that they have a zero-tolerance policy for any content that violates their community guidelines. This includes targeted abuse or harassment, as well as hate speech, threats, and violence.
“We hold our platform to a higher standard for content moderation than most social media platforms, including being one of the few to have an age-gate for our users,” says a Spoon spokesperson.
Likewise, there is no private messaging. All interaction on Spoon happens in public and can be monitored.
“This ensures that users are held accountable for their words and actions, and reduces the risk of inappropriate behavior occurring in private chats,” the spokesperson says.
Safeguards & Parental Controls
When someone tries to sign on to use Spoon, they have to verify their age. Any user under the age of 13 can’t join, but if a young person is good at math they can lie about their birth year and gain access. That said, if someone is identified by other users as being underage, a Spoon spokesperson tells Parentology that they will be permanently banned from the platform.
“The Spoon community is extremely vigilant about ensuring that only users over the age of 13 are on the platform, and the moderation team works closely with top streamers on the app, dubbed DJs, to proactively identify young users,” says the spokesperson.
There are no formalized parental controls in place, but Spoon’s moderation team actively monitors all live streams and platforms on the site. If any concerning behavior is flagged, it is investigated to see if it violates community guidelines.
Spoon does not allow any sexually explicit material or linking to any pornographic sites. Users also have the option to block members from seeing their content at any time.
A Growing Platform
If you have a teenager, there’s a good chance they may be on Spoon. The platform has seen an increase in users each month since the pandemic hit in March. Many people turned to it when they were quarantined in hopes of meeting other people with similar interests.
“We have found that this generation of young adults – dubbed Gen Z – is more interested in using platforms like Spoon where they can find communities and foster connections online,” the spokesperson says.
While Spoon has a 13-and-over policy, it’s important to know what they’re listening to so you can verify if you think it’s appropriate. If the child is broadcasting on the platform, you should know that as well. Even if the posts seem innocent enough — like discussing gaming, cosplay, or the latest anime show — social media posts have been known to come back and bite a person later on in life. Get your own Spoon account and let them know you’re paying attention.
As with this or any other social media site, it’s important to discuss with your kids safeguards and potential dangers that could be lurking online.