Wednesday, January 15, 2014

One of the main stories on yesterday's Newsround was about Moshi Monsters, and concerns from a charity that helps those with facial disfigurements. Today at 4.20pm Newsround reported "a row" about an app which an eating disorder charity believes is unsuitable for children.

Ricky: First to a row about apps on smartphones that turn plastic surgery into a game, which a charity has said are dangerous. Players are presented with a figure of a girl and are invited to "fix" her, making her thinner using surgery techniques. Apple and Google have removed a version aimed at kids aged 9 and older, but a very similar version is still available aimed at kids aged 12 and above. And the charity for eating disorders, B-eat told Leah today that's sending a bad message.

Susan Ringwood (from B-eat): We're very concerned about this app because we know how dangerous it can be for young people to feel bad about themselves and their bodies. And we don't see how his app can do anything but add to their insecurities - it's really quite dangerous.

Leah: So in order to get an app onto the app store it does have to be approved. What do you think about that?

Susan Ringwood: We understand that these apps have to be approved before they're put up on these sites, so if this really has gone through an approval process, I don't think it's rigorous enough. I don't think it's taken into account enough of the consequences - the serious consequences - that could come from people having access to this. We're not in favour of people banning things, but they should have a very much more responsible attitude than's been shown here.

The plastic surgery app

Ricky: Well Google told us earlier that they don't comment on individual apps, but will remove apps that breach guidelines. We've asked Apple several times today about whether they feel the plastic surgery game is appropriate for kids to play. But we've heard, so far, nothing back from them.

Plastic surgery game - 'dangerous' says charity

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