This Is Why Controversial Twitter Game Stolen Was Removed from iTunes App Store

The controversial game allowed users to virtually purchase and collect Twitter accounts without other users' consent.

Amid concerns over the app’s design, Hey Inc has pulled its Twitter game Stolen from the iTunes App Store. The game allowed users to virtually buy and collect users’ Twitter accounts as they would collect trading cards, but was designed to allow users to ‘buy’ others even without their knowledge or consent.

While this was already an issue for some users, who didn’t like the idea of their Twitter profiles being purchased by strangers, the app’s ‘nickname’ feature also drew criticism. The feature allowed users to give nicknames to their purchased profiles, with no apparent filter in place to prevent offensive of abusive content.

While Stolen remained in invite only beta until its closure, and Hey Inc had introduced an ‘opt out’ feature for users to remove themselves from the game, it wasn’t enough.

The controversial app even attracted the attention of U.S. Congresswoman Katherine Clark, who wrote letters to Apple’s Tim Cook and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, expressing her concerns about the app, and encouraging them to remove Stolen from the App Store and remove the app’s access to Twitter profiles until the concerns were addressed.

Stolen Katherine Clark

The Stolen Twitter account replied to Clark’s letters.

A minute later, the account announced it had pulled Stolen from the App Store.

Speaking with Gadgette, which had previously highlighted the app’s potential for abuse, Siqi Chen, CEO of Hey Inc, confirmed the app is being shuttered entirely:

Stolen as a concept with collecting and owning and opt out rather than opt in is dead. Forever.

Users who purchased currency within Stolen are encouraged to contact iTunes’ support team for a refund.

Readers: What do you think of the concept behind Stolen?