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Apple changes App Store policy on 'overtly sexual content'

post #1 of 185
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Due to numerous complaints from customers, Apple has begun removing software from its App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch that has been deemed "overtly sexual."

This week, developer of the application "Wobble iBoobs" was sent a letter from Apple explaining that the company is "constantly refining" their guidelines as to what is acceptable on the App Store. According to TechCrunch, while the application was originally found to be suitable for distribution, "numerous complaints" inspired the Cupertino, Calif., company to change their guidelines.

"We have decided to remove any overtly sexual content from the App Store, which includes your application," the letter from the iPhone App Review department reads. "Thank you for your understanding in this matter. If you believe you can make the necessary changes so that Wobble iBoobs (Premium Uncensored) complies with our recent changes, we encourage you to do so and resubmit for review."

The report notes that the application in question allowed users to add "jiggle points" to photos, has been downloaded 970,000 times, and the developer hasn't changed the software in 6 to 8 months. The status for the application on the developer's Web site states "Removed From Sale."

Some similar applications with sexual content have also been removed from the App Store, though others remain. At this point it is not known what Apple deems to be an "overtly sexual" application, or if all similar applications will also be removed.

Apple's App Store policies came under fire last year, when a third-party dictionary program was asked to resubmit their application with a parental control rating of age 17 and up due to "offensive" words found on Wikitionary.org. Apple felt it was appropriate in its request because "urban slang" words found on the Web site were not in traditional dictionaries. The developer instead opted to censor the application, remove the offending words and not be subjected to the "mature" rating.

With more than 140,000 options on the App Store, iPhone and iPod touch users can access a variety of content with varying levels of quality. With so many options available, last year Apple debuted the Genius recommendation feature to help users sort through the plethora of options on the App Store, and the hardware maker also added keywords to software to allow for easier search.
post #2 of 185
This is a deal-breaker for me. If I can't get my porn on the iPhone or iPad, then I don't want one.
post #3 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnePotato View Post

This is a deal-breaker for me. If I can't get my porn on the iPhone or iPad, then I don't want one.

It's the fault of N.O.W

If they can't get Wiggle iBanana and Wiggle iNuts at the app store, in the issue of fairness they wanted iBoobs pulled.

post #4 of 185
You can get porn, just not from the App store. Tube8 has a mobile version of their site with video.
post #5 of 185
What I don't understand is why can't they put 5 minutes worth of effort into creating a "Backroom" Adult category, let all potentially sexual apps reside there, and have any of its content blocked from the public ticker?
Heck it could even be blocked by default and require you to turn a toggle and confirm your age (all tied to parental controls, if used).

This is the reasonable thing to do, not banning the apps outright because of nauseating American sensitivities.
post #6 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

What I don't understand is why can't they put 5 minutes worth of effort into creating a "Backroom" Adult category, let all potentially sexual apps reside there, and have any of its content blocked from the public ticker?
Heck it could even be blocked by default and require you to turn a toggle and confirm your age (all tied to parental controls, if used).

This is the reasonable thing to do, not banning the apps outright because of nauseating American sensitivities.

Outright? We have other options to get our apps in the Store.

And why do you necessarily assume it is only the US?

BTW, Macworld has 161,791 apps listed.

I would like to add, with all the 'NBC-To Catch a Predator' reporting, I don't think that Apple wants to be any part of the potential issues that would arise from your suggestion to open a porn-shop. There would be no way for anybody to guarantee it to be 'Adult Only'. To think so would be just plain stupid.
post #7 of 185
Thank you.
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post #8 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

Outright? We have other options to get our apps in the Store.

And why do you necessarily assume it is only the US?

BTW, Macworld has 161,791 apps listed.

I would like to add, with all the 'NBC-To Catch a Predator' reporting, I don't think that Apple wants to be any part of the potential issues that would arise from your suggestion to open a porn-shop. There would be no way for anybody to guarantee it to be 'Adult Only'. To think so would be just plain stupid.

No idea what you're trying to say here. I don't think you can read, or bothered to, as this isn't a response to my post.
post #9 of 185
I think the app is lame, but if lameness kept apps off, then there wouldn't be any flashlight or fart apps either. Those still remain. It's juvenile too, but then, there are several dozen, if not hundreds of fart apps too.

I really don't know where I stand on the issue.
post #10 of 185
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post #11 of 185
I couldn't care less. Have beautiful wife and can't see any reason to get upset here. I have my iPhone for other things.
post #12 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

What I don't understand is why can't they put 5 minutes worth of effort into creating a "Backroom" Adult category, let all potentially sexual apps reside there, and have any of its content blocked from the public ticker?
Heck it could even be blocked by default and require you to turn a toggle and confirm your age (all tied to parental controls, if used).

I agree, and I wholeheartedly oppose the censoring of content with such a vague and abusable term as "overtly sexual" content.

As an aside, I think an Adult entertainment category could be a big winner for iPhone devs and for Apple. It is an industry that generates a lot of income and loves pushing technological boundaries for content delivery.

I have no idea how many (if any) adult Apps get rejected but the lack of them would seem to indicate that there is some restriction occuring for this genre. Although it is certainly within Apple's rights if they choose to have a blanket rejection of all adult Apps, I definitely think this is an unreasonable and unfair decision.
post #13 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

I would like to add, with all the 'NBC-To Catch a Predator' reporting, I don't think that Apple wants to be any part of the potential issues that would arise from your suggestion to open a porn-shop. There would be no way for anybody to guarantee it to be 'Adult Only'. To think so would be just plain stupid.

To link the consumption of adult entertainment to sexual predation would be just plain stupid.
post #14 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple has begun removing software from its App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch that has been deemed "overtly sexual."

Having iSteve in our corner is better than having Mary Poppins! Thanks Steve!
post #15 of 185
If the public want boobs, let them have boobs.
post #16 of 185
For all of you who "could care less," because you have a beautiful wife, or you wouldn't dream of watching something as juvenile ass jiggly boobs... the point is Apple acting as the "moral authority" or what is appropriate.

Now, lets look at the double standard. I guarantee, in less that 5-minutes I could come up with 100 songs and videos on iTunes that do more harm to women, homosexuals, and other people through their lyrics and portrayals of certain people. So because Apple can charge $1.29 for outrageous and morally corrupt music - that is OK... but they can censor application content?
post #17 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnePotato View Post

This is a deal-breaker for me. If I can't get my porn on the iPhone or iPad, then I don't want one.

So when does Apple Inc relocate to Salt Lake City?
post #18 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think the app is lame, but if lameness kept apps off, then there wouldn't be any flashlight or fart apps either. Those still remain. It's juvenile too, but then, there are several dozen, if not hundreds of fart apps too.

I really don't know where I stand on the issue.

Perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but I think you have addressed a good point - a difference in opinion of an Apps usefulness shouldn't play a part in the decision to ban it. A ban for exceeding the allowed amount of "sexual content" could play a part.

My opinion would be that rather than banning those Apps that exceed the amount of allowed "sexual content", perhaps these should be set aside for those that feel they are mature enough to access them (or that are old enough for lawful access) and restricted from the general public. That would be a more just (and profitable) system.
post #19 of 185
The "sexual" apps that have been on the app store are more stupid novelties for a 13 year old boys. They are the digital equivalent of a Spencer Gifts store at the mall. I mean really, how many "adults" are going to get their kicks adding "jiggle points" to breasts.

That said I don't think it should be banned from the store, just hide it from the front page and take it out of the "top" lists and standard search. Make the "adult" area opt it only.
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post #20 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

What I don't understand is why can't they put 5 minutes worth of effort into creating a "Backroom" Adult category, let all potentially sexual apps reside there, and have any of its content blocked from the public ticker?
Heck it could even be blocked by default and require you to turn a toggle and confirm your age (all tied to parental controls, if used).

This is the reasonable thing to do, not banning the apps outright because of nauseating American sensitivities.



That's precisely what needs to be done. Also I am missing movie genre "Erotic" which by many is interpretted as porn. Erotic and porn are two different categories... but hell one needs to travel to Europe to understand the difference if one in America can't see it.... or makes really dirty porn of something that was not supposed to be one.

Anyway, I would emphasize that it is nicely put like you wrote:

"...nauseating American sensitivities"


I agree 100%!

(Euro living in the USA)


P.S> But violent games and movies are normal for average American especially young one. The rule seems to be that learn how to kill and hurt people first and then learn erotism and natural ways or reproducing human kind. Heck... the last thing you will be allowed... at age 21... is to buy liqor. Just do not say F-word when you shoot that"enemy" on your console, because it is obnoxious.
post #21 of 185
I think this is a bad idea. It just paints Apple as the Nazi overlord one more time. (Which is somehow ok if you agree with them? WTF)

The problem was all these apps were stuffed in the "entertainment" section with a lot of other apps that were actually somewhat entertaining - but not adult in any way. I know Apple wants to refrain from blatantly creating an "adult only" section, but putting those apps in Entertainment was a bad idea from the start.

I like the "Mature" category that is hidden by default. Let people enable it in the prefs if they aren't subject to the local parental controls.

-John
post #22 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrandersoniii View Post

For all of you who "could care less," because you have a beautiful wife, or you wouldn't dream of watching something as juvenile ass jiggly boobs... the point is Apple acting as the "moral authority" or what is appropriate.

Now, lets look at the double standard. I guarantee, in less that 5-minutes I could come up with 100 songs and videos on iTunes that do more harm to women, homosexuals, and other people through their lyrics and portrayals of certain people. So because Apple can charge $1.29 for outrageous and morally corrupt music - that is OK... but they can censor application content?

I agree with your sentiment, but unfortunately there is a precedent already set for what music should and shouldnt be sold, which Apple has nothing to do with, whereas Apps are a blank slate. It is a shame they are not more open to allowing Adult App content but I would hesitate to call it a double standard.
post #23 of 185
Lets face it, if you want real porn on the iphone you would hit up sites like pornhub in safari. These little apps are really only targeting young boys and that is reason enough to ban them.
post #24 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

If the public want boobs, let them have boobs.

Apple has never been about what the public wants. They are all about what is best for us.

For example, we all would eat candy and sweets all day, but Apple makes us eat our vegetables, or we won't get dessert.

Steve knows best.
post #25 of 185
BRAVO APPLE!!!!!

Get your porn elsewhere folks! Don't rob the integrity of the app store with that filth!

post #26 of 185
Oh My God! Think of the children people. This is great news. The damage to a toddlers brain if they happened to just glance at this app would be irreparable. Way to go Apple!

On a serious note I think this is the wrong decision by Apple. If you don't want the app than do not buy it.
post #27 of 185
Frankly, I'm not interested in porn. I prefer my women clothed -- the mystery is more interesting to me than having the details handed over. Nor does crudeness for the sake of crudeness, or content intended to shock, amuse me in the least. I prefer sophisticated women and refined humor. Yet I find this move by Apple to be despicable.

We know that Apple has elected to control the immediate content of their product, and under our laws, either they can do that, or at least, no one has successfully figured out how to frame the question well enough to get it into court in such a way as to remove that ability.

All that said, I find the attempt to mother consumers -- both the "you can only buy apps here" and the "only apps we find to be 'safe' by our own definition" to be offensive and inappropriate. It is also arrogant.

As for the people who complained -- they're simply beneath my contempt.

Because the iPod has a web browser, absolutely no "protecting" of anyone is achieved by this move. It is literally striking an entirely fake pose. To actually achieve anything close to such a goal, the device would have to have the web browser capability, and Photo library capability, and video playback capability, all removed -- at the very least. Which of course leaves the web browser on the PC you must have to support the iPod close to hand and ready to find materials sufficient to widen anyone's eyes within seconds.
post #28 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilogic View Post

BRAVO APPLE!!!!!

Get your porn elsewhere folks! Don't rob the integrity of the app store with that filth!


Is this why iSteve hates FLASH?
Flash porn clogs up his MAcs?
post #29 of 185
Despite having spent years defending laissez faire, I still have to say that I'm happy with apple trying to keep it's environs from degrading into the cesspool that the rest of the Internet has become.
post #30 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by fyngyrz View Post


We know that Apple has elected to control the immediate content of their product, and under our laws, either they can do that, or at least, no one has successfully figured out how to frame the question well enough to get it into court in such a way as to remove that ability.

All that said, I find the attempt to mother consumers -- both the "you can only buy apps here" and the "only apps we find to be 'safe' by our own definition" to be offensive and inappropriate. It is also arrogant.

It is not arrogant or mothering consumers at all. What is the difference between a brick and mortar store and a digital store?

There are many video stores that have a backroom section, go there, but a lot of families like going to BlockBuster, or RedBox where no such content is available. Should they be name called because they don't offer porn? The argument is quite simple, even a comparison with NetFlix - they don't allow you to rent porn either. Apple has always geared their products for all consumers. Apple does not care to make money off porn. That is why there is mobile Safari, get your porn elsewhere.

I don't understand what is the big deal. It's not like it's a matter of principle, what about he principle of general decency?
post #31 of 185
There are thousands of bookstores that choose not to sell porn (or erotic) magazines.

Why shouldn't apple have this choice?

Plenty of stores that serve the larger population that don't sell those kind of movies either (in Europe as well!).

Think Best Buy, Borders, Barnes & Nobles, Target, Sears, Harrods, Stockmann(Finland), Kaufhof(Germany), Le Printemps(France)

THe retailer that wants to attract a larger more diverse clientele has the right to selectively not offer certain products that they feel will hurt that larger customer base.

Since very few of the porn or overtly sexual apps have been in the top ten of free or paid or top grossing, it represents a niche for the App Store, and probably is not worth losing more significant business over.

I don't think it has to do with moral attitude as much as with dollars.
post #32 of 185
Apple shouldn't be playing judge with the App Store, rather have sections for certain content, like Adult (with age verification), Juvenile and Religious.

Apple has no right to deny the rights of people from seeing content they are legally entitled to just to appease those who are intolerant.


Religious types go as far as denying themselves watching TV and reading newspapers to shut themselves out of vital information about the world and events around them.


Consumers need a way to acquire online porn in a safe manner, a Adult section on the App Store would avoid all the malware, illegal images and hack attempts traditional porn sites deliver and make Apple a bundle of cash in the process.

There are people who need jobs and have no qualms about verifying porn Apps, a separate building can be used for these employees if there is a issue with other workers in what they do.


Denying porn apps just gives one more reason for people to jailbreak their iPhone and iPad.

And porn isn't going to disappear, unless the human race does first.
post #33 of 185
ilogic: it seems i am furthering your point (due to slower typing)
post #34 of 185
Censorship in any form is antithetical to both free speech and a democracy. Apple has not been anointed to act as our moral overlord.

The cries for censorship emanate from American "fanatics" . Let them not buy the offerings or preferably move to Afghanistan.
post #35 of 185
Damn! Guess I should stop development of the iJackUlator \
post #36 of 185
I wonder how much of this has to do with the fact that
IF you searched for iBooks in the days after the iPad launch you were suggested their app.
"Did you mean iBoobs"?

(see screenshots from my iphone)
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...f&id=732033180

I have to imagine that some people who weren't looking for that ended up complaining when they got that message.

They may be the victim of a bad recommendation engine algorithm.
post #37 of 185
Are the fundamentalist nutbags that I assume complained to Apple also the teabagging idiots screaming "I want my country back! Big Government get out of my medicine cabinet! Obama is a Nazi Socialist!" Seems like they only mind censorship when it doesn't agree with them. FAIL.
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post #38 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Lets face it, if you want real porn on the iphone you would hit up sites like pornhub in safari. These little apps are really only targeting young boys and that is reason enough to ban them.

Not sure of the second sentence but the first is all anyone needs to know. Is this going to turn into another Psystar-like uproar of people complaining that they can't get their pictures of boobs from Apple because Apple is such a horrible tyrant? I really don't get the uproar. They're sucky little stupid apps that fill the store with noise. I mean, it's not like there's any such apps there worth having.

People complaining that Apple should have a backroom xxx section must be the same ones who say to boycott the neighborhood Italian restaurant because it doesn't serve nachos.
post #39 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by kozchris View Post

Oh My God! Think of the children people. This is great news. The damage to a toddlers brain if they happened to just glance at this app would be irreparable. Way to go Apple!

On a serious note I think this is the wrong decision by Apple. If you don't want the app than do not buy it.

This has a point, the focus on nudity and sex as the source of all evil is absurd.

I have gone back and forth about Apple's policies on this. I by and large like the "everything in one place" approach that the app store offers, but it does put Apple in a position of some responsibility. Even if that responsibility is indirect. I'd like to see Apple put in some sort of restricted access system, but how would they effectively police it? And if a porn app gets in the hands of a child of one of these crusaders (and I do think that is an appropriate word, with all that it implies), I would not want to be in Apple's shoes. These people and their misplaced notions of right and wrong can do serious harm to a company.

I doubt Apple is really being the "moral police", as some people have called it. I might be wrong, but I think the evidence supports it. They are making a business decision, and that decision is based on fear of repercussions from a very powerful lobby. If they actually believed in this, they could very easily block porn sites through Safari on the iPhone. However, they supply the app, so they MIGHT share in responsibility if anything gets into the hands of a child. And whether they are legally or ethically responsible or not, they will be blamed. A company like Apple cannot afford that.

I don't want to see the demise of the app store though. Having used both Blackberry and Windows Mobile, I do prefer this approach. Others may have other opinions. But, the fact is that there is choice. Nobody forces anyone to use Apple products. This "freedom to choose" argument gets overused and misused a lot. Too many people think that their freedom to choose should mean that everyone else (people or companies) is forced to do what they want. Get over yourself, look around at the damage that this sort of thing causes. There are people on both sides of this issue who are guilty of this.
post #40 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamthecarny View Post

To link the consumption of adult entertainment to sexual predation would be just plain stupid.

Quote:
According to the United States organization The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and other international sources, child pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry and among the fastest growing criminal segments on the Internet.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] According to the NCMEC, approximately one fifth of all Internet pornography is child pornography.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_s...d_the_Internet


Do you really think that there is an absolute disconnect between adult entertainment and child porn?
Quote:
According to the Mayo Clinic of the U.S.A., studies and case reports indicate that 30% to 80% of individuals who viewed child pornography and 76% of individuals who were arrested for Internet child pornography had molested a child


Quote:
predators often send adult porn to children to desensitize them from sexual content and child porn to show the child that other children are sexual; sending them a message that it is okay.

http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache:...&client=safari


The bottom line is that Apple doesn't/shouldn't need or make it easier to get involved.
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