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Apple removes Vine as 'Editors' Choice' in App Store amid hardcore porn concerns

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
The Twitter-owned short video sharing app Vine on Monday was stripped of its Editors' Choice designation and was removed from the Featured section of the App Store after media caught wind of the service's ability to weed out pornographic content.

Vine Search
Vine has deprecated the "#porn" search string from the app,
but others have cropped up in its place. | Source: Vine


Adding to Vine's woes was a pornographic clip that was briefly promoted as an "Editor's Pick" shortly after its release last Thursday, leading some to question whether the new video sharing service has a "porn problem." As reported by CNET, Vine responded by taking down the video and issuing an apology, citing "human error" as the cause of the mistake.

Buzz gathered around Vine's adult content over the weekend as it was discovered that users could easily find nude pictures and hardcore pornography by using the "#porn" search function. The service has since removed the hashtag, but it appears as though other variations on the search term have risen to take its place.

While the presence of lewd material on iOS is nothing new -- and has always been present on the platform with access to the Internet from Apple's own Safari web browser -- the company's guidelines for third-party apps distributed through the App Store strictly prohibit such content.

Most recently the popular photo-sharing app 500px was yanked from App Store as users were able to search for nude pictures. For its part, the app's developer's claim the built-in safeguards are stringent enough to meet Apple's guidelines. For example, when new users download the app, the default settings are set to "safe search" mode that filters out nude images. In order to disable the safe search option, users must exit the app and make changes to personal account settings through the 500px desktop website.
post #2 of 33
Honestly, this is really dumb. It's censorship. It's wrong. You're never going to be able to stop being from looking at porn. If they can't just use an app, they'll use safari. I'm not for porn, but you can't stop it.

 

 


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post #3 of 33
It would help my research if the author of the post would have specified what those alternate searches are, now that porn has been deprecated.
post #4 of 33
??? There was an image included.

#pornandchicken
#Pornichet
#pornvine

 

 

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post #5 of 33
Safari has a pass that all other apps do not have.

Long live Safari!
post #6 of 33
Since when does the AppStore = the Internet? Apple has no control over the Internet but they sure as hell do with their AppStore. So just because you can find porn on the web doesn't mean Apple should allow it in their AppStore.
post #7 of 33
This is beyond stupid, it is a degradation of the platform. Now anything that might POSSIBLY contain nudity is being kicked out of the app store? So Apple thinks it is more important to protect porn junkies from themselves (an aim they will absolutely never succeed in) than let those of us who AREN'T looking for nude pictures use a service for whatever else it might do?

What a bunch of idiots.
post #8 of 33
This stuff is silly on Apple's part. Take the 500x app. If you shut off the safe search on the desktop, you could pull up nude photos. Apple's beef was you aren't allowed to do that in an App. However take either the Bing or Google apps and shut off safe search which is easy to do within the apps. You can search for porn successfully all day long. Apple's policy isn't implemented fairly. To be fair, Apple would have to get rid if these search apps.

The policy encourages jail breaking. Apple also removed the excellent iKamasultra App, but left tens of knock off apps.
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

This is beyond stupid, it is a degradation of the platform. Now anything that might POSSIBLY contain nudity is being kicked out of the app store? So Apple thinks it is more important to protect porn junkies from themselves (an aim they will absolutely never succeed in) than let those of us who AREN'T looking for nude pictures use a service for whatever else it might do?

What a bunch of idiots.

The problem is that Apple isn't consistent. As I stated in another post, you can do the same thing in Bing and Google's apps. You have more porn available in those apps as well.
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Since when does the AppStore = the Internet? Apple has no control over the Internet but they sure as hell do with their AppStore. So just because you can find porn on the web doesn't mean Apple should allow it in their AppStore.

Yes, but the apps in question do not contain porn. They merely allow a person to search for porn/nude content amongst tons of non-porn/nude content. To find nudes in the 500x app, you actually had to shut safe search off using a desktop computer. Yet, with the Bing and Google apps I can find porn within the apps as well. Apple's policy displaces favoriticism to big companies. It is Apple's store and it can do what it wants, but the policy risks pissing off developers and users alike (it has me).
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

The problem is that Apple isn't consistent. As I stated in another post, you can do the same thing in Bing and Google's apps. You have more porn available in those apps as well.

Agree completely. If Apple wants to police apps that need a safe-search mode, they should always require the "restrictions" (i.e., parental controls) password to be typed to turn off safe search on iOS (if such a password has been set). Note that it's not really true that you can't put restrictions on Safari, but it's clearly a losing battle.
post #12 of 33

Love how people are so fucking desperate to get porn in apps, and get all outraged at the 'censorship'. Open a web browser for that. It's Apple's store, they host all the content, are responsible for it, and answer to it. There's no censorship in walmart because they don't stock porn videos and dildos. The iOS store is marketed to all ages, so its completely understandable that they're cautious. Are the policies 100% consistent across every single app and situation in the store? No, because a rational person would realize that its impossible to maintain full consistency with hundreds upon hundreds of millions of apps. Apple tries to maintain some common sense guidelines and I'm sure the people working those jobs try to make the best decisions possible. 

 

The app is still in the store, all they did was take down the massive banner- again, understandable considering how 'porn' and 'vine' stories have been trending in the news recently. The advantages of excercising caution when marketing to such a large demographic outweighs the outrage of a small minority over something that doesn't negatively affect their lives either way. If I was in Apple's shoes, I'd also err on the side of caution to avoid some sensational story from a mom who's kid is getting 'porn' from the appstore, and the damage that may cause the brand, at the risk of pissing off self-righteous nerds who shriek about 'censorship' and 'freedom'. 

post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy 
Love how people are so fucking desperate to get porn in apps, and get all outraged at the 'censorship'.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy 
a rational person would realize that its impossible to maintain full consistency with hundreds upon hundreds of millions of apps. Apple tries to maintain some common sense guidelines and I'm sure the people working those jobs try to make the best decisions possible.

Plus they likely have a small team on it, some of whom will love porn and others who won't.
post #14 of 33

Pornandchicken chicken.  A popular dish in China.  Served with an asian KY sauce.

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post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

??? There was an image included.

#pornandchicken
#Pornichet
#pornvine

 

It's Mikey's search history.

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post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



 

 

Don't laugh. What if the Internets fell out of the sky tomorrow? What if the cloud stopped working? How then would you get yer porn if it's not on your hard disk?

 

Think about it.

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post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

This is beyond stupid, it is a degradation of the platform. Now anything that might POSSIBLY contain nudity is being kicked out of the app store? So Apple thinks it is more important to protect porn junkies from themselves (an aim they will absolutely never succeed in) than let those of us who AREN'T looking for nude pictures use a service for whatever else it might do?

What a bunch of idiots.

 

Churches, public schools, and broadcast television don't allow porn. Let's conclude it's a degradation of those platforms.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

 

Don't laugh. What if the Internets fell out of the sky tomorrow? What if the cloud stopped working? How then would you get yer porn if it's not on your hard disk?

 

Think about it.

 

Hey, why do think I have a dedicated 3TB drive? :)

 

But seriously (kind of), I guess it would be back to Skinemax.  What a sad, sad world that would be.

post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

 

Churches, public schools, and broadcast television don't allow porn. Let's conclude it's a degradation of those platforms.

 

 

Yes, except you are refusing to address the point. Apple does allow Apps to carry porn IF the apps are from a big company. For instance, it allows both the Google and Bing apps, which allow me access to porn. 

post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Out of curiosity I did a test using a few common porn terms using Safari and the Google app then chose images for results. Safari returned G results, in other words nothing like the terms entered. Safari will show you a lot of cats and roosters though if that is your fetish.1wink.gif

 

Google on the other hand returned the expected results as did a few other browsers. So it seems like Apple is even limiting Safari as well or certainly make it far harder to see nude picts. If you want to see any nude picts, the Google app/browser, along with twitter, and even Instagram make it very easy to find them. So why pick on this Vine app? 

 

Seems very overly the top puritanical and inconsistent. 

 

Both Google and Bing remember your IP address. Safe search is set by default. So, if you use Safari to search using one of these search engines both Google and Bing will remember the settings attached to your IP address. For instance, on Bing.com there is a settings link. The same is true for Google (just don't remember what it is called as I use Bing). There you can turn off safe search. Do that and the results of the search through mobile Safari will be different. The same is true in the apps. Both with the Bing and Google apps you can turn safe search off, which is my point about why Apple is not enforcing its policy fairly. 

post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Are the policies 100% consistent across every single app and situation in the store? No, because a rational person would realize that its impossible to maintain full consistency with hundreds upon hundreds of millions of apps. Apple tries to maintain some common sense guidelines and I'm sure the people working those jobs try to make the best decisions possible. 

 

 

Yes, except one of the most popular apps in the App Store, namely the Google Search App allows you to view porn. Apple isn't trying that hard. Moreover, last I checked there is less than a million apps on the App Store. 


Edited by TBell - 1/28/13 at 10:08pm
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by NormM View Post


Agree completely. If Apple wants to police apps that need a safe-search mode, they should always require the "restrictions" (i.e., parental controls) password to be typed to turn off safe search on iOS (if such a password has been set). Note that it's not really true that you can't put restrictions on Safari, but it's clearly a losing battle.

 

 

Your idea is a good one. The problem could be solved with a parental password needed to shut off safe search across all apps. Microsoft actually has a decent feature in Windows Phone where you can hand your phone off to your kid and certain apps are quarantined from the kid so you don't have to worry about your kid messing up your phone or accessing things you don't want. 

post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post

Safari has a pass that all other apps do not have.

Long live Safari!

I can remove access to safari if I wish.

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post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Thanks for the tip. Google was set on moderate but I changed it to view all but had to sign in to settings. Bing was far easier to switch.

No problem. Prior to the recent Google update, I'd say Bing was the better app as well. Even though I still use Bing, Google's voice search though was a nice update. 

post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

This stuff is silly on Apple's part. Take the 500x app. If you shut off the safe search on the desktop, you could pull up nude photos. Apple's beef was you aren't allowed to do that in an App. However take either the Bing or Google apps and shut off safe search which is easy to do within the apps. You can search for porn successfully all day long. Apple's policy isn't implemented fairly. To be fair, Apple would have to get rid if these search apps.

The policy encourages jail breaking. Apple also removed the excellent iKamasultra App, but left tens of knock off apps.


Yea, im waiting for apple to use its policy on what you can search in mobile safari. They could easily make it impossible to type some search keywords. Then its policy would be consistent.

 

Anyway I think its just cencorship with a twist of good old greed (eg playboy fo those who dont understand). Its actually sad when you go that way... Whats next? removing politicaly incorrect views? Politicaly/ sexualy incorrect content in books?

post #26 of 33
I am in favor of this censorship. For people who want porn, the web is so full of it you could probably watch it every day for the rest of your life and never get through it all!

Let the people who don't want porn have a place they can go and not have to worry about accidentally stumbling upon it (the app ecosystem).
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I am in favor of this censorship. For people who want porn, the web is so full of it you could probably watch it every day for the rest of your life and never get through it all!

Let the people who don't want porn have a place they can go and not have to worry about accidentally stumbling upon it (the app ecosystem).

 

Not to mention that is NOT censorship.  No government is stepping in and telling you what you can and cannot watch/listen to/etc.

 

If Apple, as a private company, wants to police their App Store then they are more than free to do so.  Also, as everyone has pointed out, you can use Safari to get all the pr0n you want.  And I say this as someone who has been known to peruse some of the adult sites.  I am definitely not against it.  It's just so easy to find, I can understand Apple not wanting to be associated with apps that they see as enabling porn.

 

Are they 100% fair in the way they deal with these things?  Absolutely not.  Does that mean that something nefarious is going on?  Absolutely not.  When you have that many apps, some will slip through, some won't.  That's life.

 

And yes, you're right:  There's more porn out there than anyone could watch in a lifetime.

post #28 of 33
Pornichet is a town by the sea near Nantes, France. It's one hour driving from where I live.

I don't feel a threat here.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Let the people who don't want porn have a place they can go and not have to worry about accidentally stumbling upon it (the app ecosystem).

 

The 500px app was taken down despite users having to going out of their way to find... a few nude photographs. 

 

Do you agree that it should have been taken down?

post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

 

The 500px app was taken down despite users having to going out of their way to find... a few nude photographs. 

 

Do you agree that it should have been taken down?

Yes, I think that one should have been taken down. Vine is just, it's a generic sharing service, and some people have uploaded inappropriate content, and created inappropriate tags, and Twitter is trying to clean in up. But 500px is not trying to clean it up, they support it, by adding a dedicated section. It is the difference in approaches which I think is making Apple uncomfortable.

post #31 of 33
Anyone reading up on the history of art, photography, the camera, video and now the internet would learn that porn has been one of the, if not the driving force behind development and adoption. Just put an age restriction warning and parental controls on things and move on. A web browser is all anyone needs to access porn so what on earth is the fuss over an app? Tumbler's app will be next! I love Apple but IMHO Apple need to stop trying to be the gate keeper and simply insist on the age and parental control abilities and leave it at that.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton 
Don't laugh. What if the Internets fell out of the sky tomorrow? What if the cloud stopped working? How then would you get yer porn if it's not on your hard disk?

Think about it.

I'd try and make sure it was on a portable drive though - he should be happy he doesn't have a Mac Pro to haul out there. Worst case, if the internet broke and I had no offline media, I'd have to make some skin flicks of my own - Pornichet looks like a nice place to find some babes. Internet services are very volatile and that makes closed services and products more vulnerable. If you couldn't connect to the App Store or Apple banned your device ID, you'd pretty much be stuck with a worthless device - Microsoft does this with XBoxes though. Open Source OSs and 3rd party services means an eco-system can outlast a company.

It's true that if the whole internet was run according to conservative policies, it would be a lot less interesting. Google and ISPs have already censored things:

http://gizmodo.com/5942006/google-has-officially-started-censoring-the-pirate-bay-in-search-results
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57457001-93/u.k.s-largest-isp-blocks-the-pirate-bay-but-to-no-avail/

While people would argue that those blockades could also block the spread of information like wikileaks and other things the government doesn't want you to look at, the companies provide a service and they don't want you doing certain things with that service.

Obviously people argue from the point of consumers but if you had to step into their shoes and protect your business and brand, you'd probably make a lot of the same decisions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell 
Apple does allow Apps to carry porn IF the apps are from a big company. For instance, it allows both the Google and Bing apps, which allow me access to porn.

Google and Microsoft don't host the porn though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii 
For people who want porn, the web is so full of it you could probably watch it every day for the rest of your life and never get through it all!

Challenge accepted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips 
Anyone reading up on the history of art, photography, the camera, video and now the internet would learn that porn has been one of the, if not the driving force behind development and adoption.

Ok but would porn apps really drive anything in the App Store? It might make more people buy Apple devices, it would generate more money for those companies but it's not likely to make any technological advances and the App Store is already massively popular.
post #33 of 33
I think there is one big difference between Vine/500px and Bing/Google and Safari that explains what initially seems an unequal policy.

In the case of Vine and 500px the content is held within those 'content networks', specifically it is within the ambit of those outfits to control that content. So they potentially have editorial control over what is viewed through those apps.

In the case of Google/Bing etc. the content in question is not actually hosted on those systems, they are just indexes.

This is understandable, but actually at some level it still doesn't entirely make sense. However because Vine both controls the content AND the viewer of that content (the app) it can be argued that they have more responsibility for ensuring that Apple's content guidelines are followed.

Lets face it, teens want to 'sext' each other so its natural that apps like these end up being used for this purpose.

In the end, its daft to blame the tool, when its the fool using it thats the problem, but that's the reality.
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