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Wizz Removed From App Stores Due To Safety Issues

The Apple App Store and Google Play pulled Wizz from their online app stores after the National Center on Sexual Exploitation reached out to both with concerns over its alleged use in financial sextortion scams and safety issues, due to a lack of safeguards and effective age verification systems.

When asked about the removal, a Google spokesperson cited the company’s child endangerment policy requiring apps to “prohibit users from creating, uploading or distributing content that facilitates the exploitation or abuse of children.” 

“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”, responded an Apple representative to the request from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE).

The NCOSE thanked the Apple and Google online app stores for the removal via X posts:

“The app Wizz was ‘Tinder for Teens’ & was the 3rd app after IG and Snap for sextortion”, the NCOSE added.

Concerns were growing in recent months over the safety of the app, owned by French parent company and mobile publisher Voodoo.

Its funders include Goldman Sachs, Tencent and GBL, as well as others.

A recent study by the non-profit Network Contagion Research Institute showed how Wizz is used by people to find and connect with young users in “financial sextortion” scams.

“Wizz is currently taking a break from the app stores due to a technical hiccup. We’re working super hard to get everything sorted out and back to normal ASAP” shared Wizz in an Instagram story, following their suspension from the app stores.

The removal is a reminder of just how seriously social apps aimed at young teen users need to take their safety and age-gating features, due to the risks and potential harms young people are faced with in today’s digital landscape.

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