No, the Talking Angela app wasn’t created by me

Graham Cluley

Talking AngelaIt feels a little as if the world has been driven quite insane by the “Talking Angela” hoax.

If you’ve been lucky enough to miss all the fuss so far, here’s a quick recap.

About a year ago, a chain letter began to be spread online claiming that a popular smartphone app featuring a talking cartoon cat was really a front for paedophiles to groom children.

In the last week or so, the chain letter has resurfaced with incredible ferocity, with many Facebook users forwarding it to each other without checking their facts.

Versions of the hoax have even crossed the language divide, and there have been been false stories published claiming that children have been abducted after playing the game.

This morning, things took a new twist for me when a woman from the North of England rang me out of the blue, and asked if *I* was the author of the Talking Angela app.

She didn’t sound very happy, so I felt I should tread carefully.

“No, I didn’t write the app,” I calmly replied.

“Well,” she huffed, as what I presumed to be a whippet barked behind her. “I googled for ‘Talking Angela’ and it was your name which came up.”

I gently explained that I had merely written about the hoax and that didn’t mean I had created the app myself. (“Yes, it’s a hoax madam. You’ve been reading stuff on the internet which isn’t true. Just imagine!”)

After a couple of minutes she appeared to accept my protestations of innocence, and my suggestion that it she googled a little harder she would find plenty of other legitimate sources confirming that the app was not a cloak for paedophiles to access young children, and that there wasn’t a paedophile lurking in the cartoon cat’s eye.

It’s a very very strange world.

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

4 Replies to “No, the Talking Angela app wasn’t created by me”

  1. The hoax apparently started somewhere in North England by a middle-aged mom. It's amazing how they are completely computer and functionally illiterate. And now calling random people trying to help spread the word about the hoax? Geez.

  2. Wow. I believed it was true. Thank you for saying the whole hoax was a lie. I was scared of going back on my talking angela for a while.

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