Apple's Confused iPhone App Censors: Softcore Porn? Ok.

from the this-time-around dept

The near total arbitrariness of Apple's iPhone morality police continues... We've already noted how odd it is that certain apps got rejected -- such as an eBook reader that users might, possibly be able to read the Kama Sutra with, because it provided access to the public domain library at Project Gutenberg. Never mind the fact that the same content could be accessed easily via a browser -- such as the included Safari browser on the iPhone. However, other apps seem to get through with no problem. Dave Title notes that Apple apparently had no problem with a Suicide Girls' app that allowed users to "strip" women down to their underwear simply by flipping the phone. It's a silly meaningless app (and doesn't contain any actual nudity), but it does make you wonder. Why is one app potentially harmful according to Apple's morality police, while the other is perfectly fine?


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    If the end result of the app is still SFW, then what's the point? I can understand not wanting to link to porn and such, but the strip down models are likely wearing nothing less than most girls wear to the beach on a given day or appear on afternoon soap operas in.

    Where there is smoke, the is Mike fanning the flames.

     

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  2.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Jun 11th, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    "a Suicide Girls' app that allowed users to "strip" women down to their underwear simply by flipping the phone."

    God, finally a reason to buy an iPhone!

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 12:05pm

    Re:

    The problem is that people could find the app's content offensive, whereas apps like Eucalyptus don't contain any actual content that people could find offensive (it just allows people to read/find content from other sites on the Internet), and the only reason Eucalyptus was rejected was because someone could access content they found offensive through the app DESPITE the fact that said content wasn't built into the app itself (as well as, y'know, the whole "I can read this from Safari" hypocrisy involved with the rejection).

    Thankfully, Eucalyptus was eventually allowed into the app store (partially because of all the Internet backlash, I'm sure).

     

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  4.  
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    Rob R. (profile), Jun 11th, 2009 @ 12:07pm

    Probably just depends on what employee is reviewing the app. If you get the one that is prudish, they are going to lean towards more restrictions. If you get a more outgoing judge, then your app is more likely to not get a censor for the small stuff.

    You'll have things like this any time humans are the ones making the judgement calls.

     

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  5.  
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    insub2, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 12:17pm

    The Appstore Stories

    I think this stopped being news.

     

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  6.  
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    zaven (profile), Jun 11th, 2009 @ 12:19pm

    My buddy actually says he wrote that suicide girls app, gonna send him the link to this and see if he has anything to say.

     

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  7.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jun 11th, 2009 @ 12:25pm

    Fat Girls

    There's one fat chick working in the "censor apps" office, and she doesn't let anything like that fly. In fact, she works overtime to be doubly sure. Nobody else in the office really cares though. : P

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 12:35pm

    Re: The Appstore Stories

    It's only news to Mike, who appears to need a certain number of things to be outraged about at any time to keep his systems balanced or something.

     

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  9.  
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    Rekrul, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 1:03pm

    It would be funny if there was a hidden Easter egg in this app that let you stip the girl completely nude by holding down one of the buttons while flipping it, or something similar.

     

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  10.  
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    Freedom, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 1:07pm

    It may be old news, but the story won't die...

    Sure, this is old news but Apple keeps making it new news but there insane inconsistent policies!

    Freedom

     

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  11.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jun 11th, 2009 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Re: The Appstore Stories

    It's a problem that annoys developers and that Apple has not yet addressed or made any public statement on. Why shouldn't people like Mike continue to comment on such things? He doesn't really seem very "outraged" to me - just a little annoyed and confused that a company (which is normally well organized and operated) would let this situation persist - and so he will continue to point out examples of the harm/hypocrisy until something changes.

     

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  12.  
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    chickens, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 1:15pm

    Re:

    Pervert

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Ryan, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    I've found that if you just keep re-submitting the app without making any changes, eventually you'll get a moderator that isn't an idiot.

    I've had to do that with every iteration of the noslang.com internet slang dictionary app. ( http://www.noslang.com/iphone.php )

    They kept rejecting it because people might be offended by the word "ass", then "a*s" was offensive, but "a**" wasn't. I never understood that.

     

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  14.  
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    zaven (profile), Jun 11th, 2009 @ 1:23pm

    Re:

    Buttons, what buttons? Are you using an different iPhone than I am. Is there a hidden button on the thing cuz I only count one (Volume doesnt count).

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: The Appstore Stories

    And you apparently feel the need to bash Mike personally. Which says volumes about you.

     

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  16.  
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    Ilfar, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 2:02pm

    Amusing

    I like reading about the inconsistencies. If no one brings them up, then how is it going to get solved? I am, of course, assuming it will be solved eventually, colour me an optimist ;)

     

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  17.  
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    Overcast (profile), Jun 11th, 2009 @ 2:04pm

    Why is one app potentially harmful according to Apple's morality police, while the other is perfectly fine

    The whole reason in a nutshell at why any type of content control like this is a bad thing.

     

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  18.  
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    TimmyT, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 2:16pm

    Who cares?

    Why someone would buy a device whose apps are controlled by a central authority is beyond me. I've been using Windows Mobile for years and although the interface isn't as fancy, I can load any damn app I please, I can even write and distribute my own. Same with Palm OS, last I checked you can load whatever the hell you want on your device, no one cares. I never used iTunes and their DRM bullshit, and I'll never use an iPhone with their prudish censorship bullshit. Apple is irrelevant here in the corporate world where Windows Mobile and Blackberry rule the mobile workforce.

     

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  19.  
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    billdicks, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Who cares?

    Sounds like you live in a self-inflicted microscosm...I work at a major IT company and everyone uses an iPhone. Pull your head out buddy because nobody is married to any platform anymore.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Kilgore Trout, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Who cares?

    Perez Hilton? Is that you?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 2:48pm

    Apple

    I used to think Apple products were good, but slightly overpriced. Over the last year, I've changed my viewpoint, and now recommend people avoid the whole Apple trap completely, even if they have money to waste. The whole iTunes/iPod/iPhone combination now seems like a trap, one with slowly more restrictive chains.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 4:44pm

    It's obvious why

    Apple is cool and artistic. SG is cool and artistic.

    Nevermind the fact that one group is stupid, and the other is stupid while being naked they're BFFs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Luci, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: Who cares?

    I do not now, nor have I ever, nor will I ever own anything from Apple. Why? Personal preference. It has nothing to do with being married to a platform, which seems to be the case at your major IT company if everyone uses the same device. Congratulations on contradicting yourself in two small lines.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2009 @ 1:30am

    Re: The Appstore Stories

    I think this stopped being news.

    Techdirt isn't a news site. You're in the wrong place if that's what you thought.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2009 @ 1:32am

    Re: Re: The Appstore Stories

    It's only news to Mike...blah blah blah

    Hey doofus,
    I think Mike knows Techdirt isn't a news site. You, on the other hand...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    TimmyT, Jun 12th, 2009 @ 8:08am

    Re: Who cares?

    I never said I was married to any platform, if you read my post I even said there are Blackberry and Palm users too, I just prefer Windows Mobile for myself. And we do have some iPhone users, but they are literally maybe 5% if that. We actually have more Blackberry users than anything, and I believe that is the general consensus in the corporate world. Our users can get whatever phone they want, if they want to be chained to Apple's draconian policies then fine, as long as they get their emails, contacts, and calendar on their phone that's all I care about (yay iPhone 2.0 with ActiveSync). I'm just saying I will never personally lock myself into Apple's products, the rest of the world has the freedom to do what they choose with their media and their devices. Same reason I still buy CDs and rip them to MP3 myself. Freedom!

     

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  27.  
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    Rob R. (profile), Jun 12th, 2009 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re:

    Your counter is off then, because they have two, not counting the volume.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Rob R. (profile), Jun 12th, 2009 @ 10:41am

    Re: Apple

    How exactly is it a trap? I have been using them for a long time now and have yet to feel trapped. Your experience must obviously be different, so I am curious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    jg, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 12:09pm

    softcore is not porn ... nothing you wouldnt see at the beach!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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