Apple Warns Amazon About Sexually Explicit Kindle Content Accessible to Children
Both Apple and Alphabet have asked Amazon to improve content moderation for its Kindle app after it was found that children could use the app to access sexually explicit images, reports Reuters.
Amazon's Kindle platform sells adult-oriented books that include photographs that are not suitable for children, with the content first discovered by parents who contacted Reuters. The parents had purchased Kindle Unlimited for their pre-teen children because it included age appropriate books that were not available on Amazon's separate Amazon Kids+ subscription service.
Kindle Unlimited also offers books with full color nude photographs, which the children were able to download for free and with no parental checks as Kindle Unlimited provides all content for one $10/month subscription price. The books are self-published through the direct publishing feature of the Kindle service, which allows authors to publish their books instantly and make them available through Kindle Unlimited.
Apple did not provide detail on its communications with Amazon, but the company told Reuters the following: "We've shared these concerns with the developer and are working with them to ensure their app is compliant with our guidelines." Apple also changed the age rating of the Kindle app to 12 years or older from 4 years or older.
Apple's App Store guidelines do not allow apps that depict "overtly sexual or pornographic material," and app developers are "responsible for moderating the user-generated content on their platforms."
Google too said that it had contacted Amazon and that Google Play does not allow apps that contain or promote sexual content, while Amazon said that it is "reviewing all of the available information and taking action" based on its findings. Amazon said it is "committed to providing a safe shopping and reading experience" for customers and their families.
At the current time, the Kindle Unlimited service does not offer parental controls, and Amazon has not yet made any changes to the Kindle app or Kindle Unlimited.
Top Rated Comments
On the other hand, I worry about the ominous reference to Apple not allowing porn in apps and making developers responsible for moderation. That's the sort of thing that can be very easily used against pretty much any app that displays third-party content. Reddit has an app, and Reddit has plenty of porn subreddits. I thought we covered that with the "unrestricted content" note in the App Store? (I know such apps would also likely get a 17+ rating, but I also didn't think an app could be summarily banned simply because it displays arbitrary third-party content that might contain porn?)