A Washington Post analysis found Apple has received more than 1,500 reviews detailing unwanted sexual comments or advances made through the “random chat apps” available on the tech giant’s App Store – and many of the advances were directed toward minors, according to the report.
“A man who is sick in the head and disgusting decided to show some things that shouldn’t have been shown,” one person wrote in a September review of the app Monkey, according to the outlet.
“This is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Predators are all over this site"
The outlet examined more than 130,000 reviews for “random chat apps” – Monkey, ChatLive, Yubo, Chat for Strangers, Holla and Skout – and found more than 1,500 that referenced incidents involving unwanted sexual behavior on the applications.
Many of the apps randomly place users in video calls or conversations. Apple prohibits roulette-style apps on its site, a spokesperson told FOX Business.
"Every app is reviewed to make sure it complies with our strict guidelines, including a special set of requirements for those that include user-generated content and person-to-person interactions," Apple spokesperson Fred Sainz told FOX Business in a statement. "If we find a developer is not complying with the rules around user-generated content, we actively partner with them to tighten their moderation practices to avoid future occurrences. 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 won’t hesitate to remove them from the App Store if they don’t."
All six apps except ChatLive are also available through Google Android’s application store, according to the report.
A representative for Skout told the Post the app does not permit minors to use the app. One of Yubo’s representatives told the outlet the app has eliminated 20,000 profiles from the site after an algorithm determined those users were likely under 12. Monkey, which declined to comment to the Post, did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment. The others did not respond to the Post's inquiries.
But a former Apple exec told the Post the company has opted not to monitor users’ reviews.
While the reviewer is not required by Apple to specify his or her age, some people specified their ages when leaving reviews.
Apple says on its website it checks “every app and every update.”
“When you download an app, it should work as promised,” reads an Apple webpage on “Principles and Practices.” "We carefully review each app and require developers to follow strict guidelines on privacy, design, and business models.”