Apple changes App Store policy on 'overtly sexual content'

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 184
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 184
    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.



  • Reply 3 of 184
    You can get porn, just not from the App store. Tube8 has a mobile version of their site with video.
  • Reply 4 of 184
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 184
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 184
    Thank you.
  • Reply 7 of 184
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 184
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 184
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    [deleted by me]
  • Reply 10 of 184
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 184
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 184
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 184
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    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!
  • Reply 14 of 184
    If the public want boobs, let them have boobs.
  • Reply 15 of 184
    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?
  • Reply 16 of 184
    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?
  • Reply 17 of 184
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 184
    dogcowdogcow Posts: 713member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 184
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 184
    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
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