The Washington Post (a subscription is required to read the entire article) says it’s looked into iOS chat and social networking app reviews and discovered more than 1,500 reports of unwanted sexual behavior, some of it directed against children.
The Post says it sifted through more than 130,000 reviews of six random chat apps, all but one of which were ranked in the top 100 for social networking by Apple this month. The newspaper said it manually inspected the more than 1,500 reviews that made mention of uncomfortable sexual situations.
Per the Post: “About 2 percent of all iOS reviews of Monkey [pictured], ranked 10th most popular in Apple’s social networking category earlier this month, contained reports of unwanted sexual behavior, according to The Post’s investigation. Despite that, the app was approved for users 12 and older. The other apps included in the investigation were Yubo, ChatLive, Chat for Strangers, Skout and Holla. At least 19 percent of the reviews on ChatLive mentioned unwanted sexual approaches.”
The article adds that Apple didn’t comment on the report, but said that it did act when alerted to such problems.
To wit: “We created the App Store to be a safe and trusted place for our customers to get apps and we take all reports of inappropriate or illegal contact extremely seriously,” Apple spokesman Fred Sainz said in a statement. “If the purpose of these apps is not inappropriate, we want to give developers a chance to ensure they are properly complying with the rules, but we don’t hesitate to remove them from the App Store if they don’t. The age rating on Monkey was raised to 17 and older this week after inquiries from The Post.”