Danger in the network: they warn that 95% of apps for children contain invasive advertisements

November 6, 2018 - By Joseph Taylor

95 percent of applications for children’s entertainment on Google Play contains deceptive advertising that can not be understood as such by that user audience, revealed a study conducted by the University of Michigan (USA).

The researchers analyzed the 135 most popular children’s theme applications available for the Android operating system – which carry more than 50% of mobiles in the United States – and found that almost all of them display ads that, for example, are associated with poor food behavior. healthy

The picture is aggravated when the free applications are separated from the payments: all of the first contains advertising, something that reaches 88% of the second.

This, according to the researchers, affects in particular the children of more humble families who will be more exposed to these messages.

Invasive technology
Although psychologists and doctors insist on a late and gradual incorporation of technology as a form of entertainment for children, a report by the Center for Studies, Research and Opinion of the Ombudsman of the City of Buenos Aires warned about the advancement of these scenarios.

“Technology is part of our lives but what can not happen is that it is the only way to calm a child’s anxiety, that we do not try other ways or develop other ways to treat it,” psychologist Laura Jurkowski told Telam.

Although Jurkowski argues that we can not talk about long-term effects on the behavior of children, he warned about the problems that can arise from a univocal stimulus from technology on the part of parents.

“For a good development of the brain, face-to-face contact is necessary, fine and thick motor skills are developed, skin-to-skin contact is not the same as playing the ball on the square than playing FIFA on the Play. characterized by flexibility, when we have only one tool, health limits us, “he explained.

Director of reConectarse, a treatment center for addiction to the use of technology, Jurkowski stated that “when the adult enables this type of entertainment, he must be able to monitor not only what the content and time of use have to do , but also these accessory issues can appear on the screen, including advertising. “

YouTube, on the lookout
The problem of deceptive content is not only present in games because, for example, the YouTube platform was forced to launch a special application that prevents the reproduction of videos that have the aesthetics of famous animated cartoons with themes for adults.

“Advertising is progressing hand in hand with technology, it is getting into more and more products and is highly harmful for those who have not developed the capacity for discernment, as is the case of the children,” said sociologist Pablo Azcarate, member of the Center for Studies of the Ombudsman’s Office.

In that sense, he told Telam that regulations are always “running backwards” to uses and, meanwhile, “brands take advantage of that space” to sell more.

From the University of Michigan went beyond and consider that it is “manipulative and disruptive” methods and called for a “regulation” of advertising in video games such as that may exist in traditional media.

How to know if a child is addicted to the screen
These are the warning signs that the study claims to pay attention to:

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