Sexually explicit and violent apps have been approved by Apple and Google as being suitable for young children, an investigation by The Times has revealed.
According to the newspaper, there were many games available featuring adult themes aimed at twelve-year-olds, with some even rated as low as for ages four and above.
The investigation involved a reporter signing up for an ‘anonymous chat’ app, which has been certified as suitable for ages 12 and above. However, he was soon accosted by other members with profile pictures of topless teenage boys, asking him for nude photos.
According to the report, consumer tech giants Apple and Google allow developers to decide on a rating for their games, with the tech giants then verifying certifications as suitable.
The report claimed some of the available apps include, ‘Boyfriend craft’, where players can become a ‘lover’ in the office and seduce their best friend; and another game which forces users to choose whether to ‘thump’ a woman or ‘insult her’.
As quoted by The Times, Tony Stower, head of child safety online at the NSPCC, slammed the ratings, stating these apps were ‘completely inappropriate for children and could even be harmful’.