Home Wizz: Tinder-like app for teens removed from Apple App Store and Google Play Store

Wizz: Tinder-like app for teens removed from Apple App Store and Google Play Store

The teen-focused dating app Wizz has been taken down from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store over allegations it facilitated the sexual exploitation of minors.

Launched in 2019 by French developer Voodoo, Wizz billed itself as a way for teenagers to “expand your world meeting unexpected online people.” However, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) recently contacted Apple and Google to report that Wizz was being used for “sextortion” scams targeting underage users, reports CNBC.

Sextortion involves coercing victims, often teenagers, to provide sexually explicit photos that are then used to extort money or other actions under threat of making the images public. NCOSE said Wizz enabled predators to groom and abuse children in this way.

In response to being contacted by NCOSE, Apple replied, “We take App Store violations seriously and appreciate your outreach. The app has been removed from the Store and we are in touch with the developer.” Google also confirmed it had suspended Wizz from the Play Store.

A spokesperson for Wizz said the developers are working with Apple and Google to provide more information on the app’s safeguards and clarify that Wizz has “extensive safeguards for users.” However, both tech giants have kept the app offline for now pending further investigation.

The incident highlights concerns over the potential dangers of online dating apps, especially for underage users. While Wizz defended its protections, the allegations of facilitated child exploitation were deemed credible enough for removal from the two largest app marketplaces.

Parents and teenagers should remain cautious about the use of dating apps that can expose minors to inappropriate or abusive contacts.

The issue of children’s online safety has come into the spotlight this week as the CEOs of the world’s social media giants were questioned before Congress over alleged harm to young users on their platforms

Featured image: Wizz

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Sam Shedden
Executive Editor

Sam Shedden is an experienced journalist and editor with over a decade of experience in online news. A seasoned technology writer and content strategist, he has contributed to many UK regional and national publications including The Scotsman, inews.co.uk, nationalworld.com, Edinburgh Evening News, The Daily Record and more. Sam has written and edited content for audiences whose interests include media, technology, AI, start-ups and innovation. He's also produced and set-up email newsletters in numerous specialist topics in previous roles and his work on newsletters saw him nominated as Newsletter Hero Of The Year at the UK's Publisher Newsletter Awards 2023. He…

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