"Rescue the Anorexia Girl," an app that invited players to "become a real hero" by throwing food at an emaciated female character in a kind of Whack-a-Mole game, was pulled by Amazon Appstore on Thursday after it heard from the outraged public and eating disorder activists, the Independent reports. If players missed, the girl would lose weight and eventually die.
The app, developed by SmartTouch Media of Las Vegas, was sold on Amazon and Android platforms.
“We are horrified to learn of Amazon’s app, which actively encourages people to make fun of those struggling with life threatening eating disorders” said Imogen Smith, a spokesperson for the Anorexia & Bulimia Care (ABC) charity in Britain, told the Independent.
"Throwing food at a person struggling with anorexia nervosa, who has a serious disabling fear of food, in order to make them well suggests that anorexia is a fad and self-inflicted and not a complex psychological illness,” Smith said. She added that it was as if the app were "making fun" of people with anorexia, and she was "horrified" by it.
“All apps in the Amazon Appstore must adhere to our content guidelines and the app in question is no longer available from our store,” a spokesperson told the Independent.
"We're a big publisher, and this app was one of many we published on Amazon last year," SmartTouch Media executive Tim Prokhorov told the New York Daily News, which noted that the app "likely violated the company’s 'offensive content' standard."