Apple and Google have called on Amazon to better fortify its content against adult material after learning sexually explicit photos were accessible to minors as well as adults on the Kindle app, Reuters reported.

The Kindle app markets itself as an online book service, offering different reading materials like digital books, audiobooks and magazine subscriptions, with a fee.

Reuters said authors can self-publish their own work through Amazon and allow it to be available on the Kindle Unlimited service. Within Amazon’s terms for self-publication, Reuters said Amazon “can refuse to sell content it deems ‘offensive or inappropriate,’ which may include content that ‘contains pornography.’”

Two families told Reuters of the issue after explicit material was found on their preteen sons’ phones, accessed through Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited e-book subscription service and the Kindle iPhone app.

They said they wanted the service because it was more cost-efficient than buying books and provided more suitable reading material not available on Amazon’s Kids+ subscription service.

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Protecting minors

Amazon told the news outlet, “We’re committed to providing a safe shopping and reading experience for our customers and their families and we take matters like this seriously,” adding, “We are reviewing all of the available information and are taking action based on our findings.”

Apple told Reuters in a statement that, while app developers are in charge of content moderation on their platforms, Apple will work with developers “to take immediate corrective actions whenever we find any issues.” Concerning Amazon, “We’ve shared these concerns with the developer and are working with them to ensure their app is compliant with our guidelines.”

Google said it is also “in contact with the developer on this issue,” and that “Google Play does not allow apps that contain or promote sexual content.”

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Apple Insider reported that “Kindle Direct Publishing does include a manual review process, which concentrates on technical issues such as printer registration problems, cover photograph bleeds and so on. The reviewers are presumably not required to read the submitted books, but it isn’t clear why” certain titles that indicate explicit content were not rejected.

Deseret News has previously reported on the effects of pornography, noting that “use of pornography — whether mainstream or aggressive — is associated with lower relationship satisfaction and less stability.”

Porn has also been linked to poorer mental-emotional health and cognitive outcomes in more than 85 studies, according to Deseret News.