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Apple cleans App Store of smutty apps

Apple cleans App Store of smutty apps

Apple has purged the App Store of 'objectionable content' following a series of complaints from parents.

Apple has cleared out the App Store of 'objectionable content' recently, removing a bunch of apps such as Wobble iBoobs on the grounds that users were finding them degrading.

"It came to the point where we were getting customer complaints from women who found the content getting too degrading and objectionable, as well as parents who were upset with what their kids were able to see," Apple's Philip Schiller, head of worldwide product marketing, told the New York Times.

Schiller indicated that an increasing number of objectionable apps were being submitted for approval and that the company had decided to draw a line, prioritising users over developers.

"We obviously care about developers, but in the end have to put the needs of the kids and parents first," he added.

Wobble iBoobs developer Jon Atherton found his game removed from the App Store and, contacting Apple, was given the following guidelines to bear in mind for future apps or updates, via Kotaku. Atherton's comments on the rules are also included, in brackets.
  • No images of women in bikinis (Ice skating tights are not OK either)
  • No images of men in bikinis! (I didn't ask about Ice Skating tights for men)
  • No skin (he seriously said this) (I asked if a Burqa was OK, and the Apple guy got angry)
  • No silhouettes that indicate that Wobble can be used for wobbling boobs (yes - I am serious, we have to remove the silhouette in [our] pic)
  • No sexual connotations or innuendo: boobs, babes, booty, sex - all banned
  • Nothing that can be sexually arousing!! (I doubt many people could get aroused with [our] pic but those puritanical guys at Apple must get off on pretty mundane things to find Wobble overtly sexual!)
  • No apps will be approved that in any way imply sexual content (not sure how Playboy is still in the store, but...)
Atherton's comments provide an interesting look at Apple's approach - namely how publications like PlayBoy and Sports Illustrated have been unaffected.

"The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format," explained Schiller.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

30 Comments

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eddtox 24th February 2010, 13:16 Quote
Hahahahah! iFAIL! AGAIN! If apple doesn't like it, you can't have it. Enjoy!
antiHero 24th February 2010, 13:27 Quote
I think thats so stupid. Bikini apps are forbidden but you could open the browser and surf all the pr0n you want.
Singularity 24th February 2010, 13:29 Quote
That is getting beyond ridiculous. Didn't they flaunt the addition of parental controls when 3.0 came out? I was under the impression that it would allow R rated apps in the store.

Ah, well, there goes my brilliant idea of being rich :(
mclean007 24th February 2010, 13:32 Quote
Right, when you buy an iPhone or sign up as an iPhone dev, you sign a pact with Steve which says your eternal soul belongs to him. That I get, and it's a deal many people are willing to accept to get their hands on what is undisputably THE most desirable handset of all time, or (in the case of devs) to open the door to a vast pool of users champing at the bit to pay you for your app. But to change the rules after the fact, and revoke existing apps, is unacceptable. These apps were approved, and obviously met Apple's previous guidelines. Devs spent good time working on them in the reasonable expectation of a return on their invested efforts. For Apple to move the goal posts with retroactive effect is just not cricket.

Let's leave aside the nonsense of censoring iPhone apps when the iPhone comes with a fully featured (well, minus Flash support) browser that can access any naughty site on t'internet.
Pete J 24th February 2010, 13:37 Quote
I wonder what percentage of the people complaining is compared to the rest of the user base. I bet it's a small minority ruining it for everyone else.

Oh, and this doesn't help Apple users with their image of, how to put this inoffensively, sexual persuasion ;)
leveller 24th February 2010, 13:54 Quote
I have no problem with Apple doing this. I've seen most of the skin-apps and they are crap tbh. It seems a much better route for Apple and for the sake of children and parents to go the family-friendly route.

Good move.
pizan 24th February 2010, 14:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Singularity
Didn't they flaunt the addition of parental controls when 3.0 came out? I was under the impression that it would allow R rated apps in the store.
Well parents have to enable parental controls in order for them to work and we all know most people who have Macs don't want to have any options or settings so they don't enable them.
FreQ 24th February 2010, 14:04 Quote
I don't have an iPhone and I doubt I'd pay for wobbling boobs if I did own one, but the precident this sets has got to be challenged.

This is PC gone mad. So what if a few over-protective mothers complained or if someone is offended by a boob silhouette; there are people offended by absolutely everything and if companies start pandering to their every demand, where does it stop? I still find it amazing the American culture seems to find guns acceptable but quivers at the mention of some naked flesh and it seems to filter into American company culture.

It's been said already. Make an adult section to keep the delicate ones safe yet still offer the choice to everyone if they do want something R rated. All Apple's method will do is drive normal people into underground methods like jailbraking their phones.

Hoping we get more competition so that people can vote with their wallets.
barndoor101 24th February 2010, 14:08 Quote
funniest part: they banned apps from indie developers, but they let sports illustrated and playboy stay. double standards anyone?
DocWolfe 24th February 2010, 14:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by pizan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Singularity
Didn't they flaunt the addition of parental controls when 3.0 came out? I was under the impression that it would allow R rated apps in the store.
Well parents have to enable parental controls in order for them to work and we all know most people who have Macs don't want to have any options or settings so they don't enable them.

What is a 'kid' doing with a £500 iPhone in the first place. There's too many parents out there with too much money obviously.
Tulatin 24th February 2010, 14:25 Quote
You know, the best part about this is that parents can set the iPhone to lock their kids out of the app store. But expecting people to parent, over the moral outrage of "You're a huge company, you have to babysit everything for us!!!!!one".

Yeah.
AngusW 24th February 2010, 14:28 Quote
i'd have probably bought an iphone for wobble iboobs, sounds like hours of fun! Oh well apple you fail (i wouldnt really have bought one anyway..) Its hypocritical for them to let playboy keep there app though
ch424 24th February 2010, 14:45 Quote
They've done stuff like this before

http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/05/03/029249 - censoring the NiN app from their store, while they're perfectly happy to sell the uncensored album on iTunes!
eddtox 24th February 2010, 15:04 Quote
What's the betting they have some contract with Playboy etc? By this logic they should remove all albums with skin on the covers from the iTunes store. I can see that going down well. Still, not in the least bit surprised.
BLC 24th February 2010, 17:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ch424
They've done stuff like this before

http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/05/03/029249 - censoring the NiN app from their store, while they're perfectly happy to sell the uncensored album on iTunes!

We have a winner! I was wondering when someone would point this out :)


Putting aside my "Righteous Indignation" hat for a moment, all I have to say about the subject is this: if you will buy into a closed system where the manufacturer/owner has final say over what runs on their device, you absolutely have to expect this kind of thing.
Highland3r 24th February 2010, 17:14 Quote
What i don't quite understand is the reason for it being removed... People were claiming it was degrading, simple solution - don't download it....

Spose in the land of litigation we live in, there's not a lot Apple can do.... "zomg ir suez youz as my child was wobblingz someonez boobiez coz of the appz on yourz storez......"
SMIFFYDUDE 24th February 2010, 17:17 Quote
Why are parents buying such expensive phones for their precious little lambs?

The kids will have to make do with Frontal Assault on the PC if they can't now get Wobble iBoobs on the phone they shouldn't really have.
dicobalt 24th February 2010, 17:32 Quote
Apple Inc. just keeps getting more insane with each passing year.
docodine 24th February 2010, 17:51 Quote
A lot of kids have iPod touches, which also has app store access. :-|

iPhones aren't that expensive now anyway, a refurb 8gb 3G is $50 right now, and most people don't mind the contract, especially with family plans.
dslickness 24th February 2010, 17:59 Quote
Disgruntled App developers who were betrayed by the intolerant shinny apple unite and develop for Android!!!

Enough with the tyranny.
BLC 24th February 2010, 18:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by docodine
A lot of kids have iPod touches, which also has app store access. :-|

iPhones aren't that expensive now anyway, a refurb 8gb 3G is $50 right now, and most people don't mind the contract, especially with family plans.

I hope you mean $50 with a contract... Otherwise tell me where! :)
HourBeforeDawn 24th February 2010, 19:44 Quote
wow they dont want people jail breaking but boy do they push you to do it, but why not just do an 18+ section that requires verification and be done with it, they get to make even more money and everyone is a little bit happier.
WDCPreD 24th February 2010, 19:50 Quote
+1 Android.

I get all the wobbling boobs I want on my Nexus One.
ZERO <ibis> 24th February 2010, 21:01 Quote
Well we all know that playboy and sports illustrated have higher standers than any indie developer ever can. They also have more money and under Apples Golden Rule "He who has the gold makes the rules".
sear 24th February 2010, 23:53 Quote
I'm surprised how many people are objecting to this. I find it hard to call any of the people who create these things "developers", much less acceptable human beings. The guidelines presented are a bit strict, but despite that, it's ludicrous that they would even accept what are essentially poorly-veiled masturbation aids. I do think that freedom of information is important, of course, but frankly, as a publisher, Apple needs to show public responsibility. Would they tolerate racism and homophobia in their apps? I doubt it, yet they seem to have no problem with sexist materials
barndoor101 25th February 2010, 00:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sear
I'm surprised how many people are objecting to this. I find it hard to call any of the people who create these things "developers", much less acceptable human beings. The guidelines presented are a bit strict, but despite that, it's ludicrous that they would even accept what are essentially poorly-veiled masturbation aids. I do think that freedom of information is important, of course, but frankly, as a publisher, Apple needs to show public responsibility. Would they tolerate racism and homophobia in their apps? I doubt it, yet they seem to have no problem with sexist materials

so what about that gay-cruising app Grindr? im not homophobic, but i can imagine the same 'think of the children' attitude would condemn that too.
deadsea 25th February 2010, 00:50 Quote
Right... Read the whole article but ignore the last 2 lines.
crazyceo 25th February 2010, 10:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by barndoor101
Quote:
Originally Posted by sear
I'm surprised how many people are objecting to this. I find it hard to call any of the people who create these things "developers", much less acceptable human beings. The guidelines presented are a bit strict, but despite that, it's ludicrous that they would even accept what are essentially poorly-veiled masturbation aids. I do think that freedom of information is important, of course, but frankly, as a publisher, Apple needs to show public responsibility. Would they tolerate racism and homophobia in their apps? I doubt it, yet they seem to have no problem with sexist materials

so what about that gay-cruising app Grindr? im not homophobic, but i can imagine the same 'think of the children' attitude would condemn that too.

Spot on! according to Crapple, I'm not allowed to watch a pair of boobs wobble but I can seek out using the gps the closest homosexual for a little action. WTF!

I don't understand anyone commenting here on how they can defend Crapples decision. You can't allow Grindr, Playboy or Sports Illustrated etc. but stuff every other sexual referencing app because it isn't well known? I only found out about Grindr when Jeremy Clarkson joked about it with Stephen Fry on Topgear. Does that warrant it's inclusion?
_Metal_Guitar_ 27th February 2010, 12:26 Quote
This doesn't bother me in the slightest, never bought an apple product never will.

To be fair though, I don't blame apple for this, i blame all the whiny people that are afraid of everythin. Why is it no one can take responsibility for themselves or their kids. If you don't like it, don't fecking get it. Its THAT simple.

I love how America is the land of freedom, yet all they do is censor everything.
cool_dude 27th February 2010, 12:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by docodine
iPhones aren't that expensive now anyway, a refurb 8gb 3G is $50 right now, and most people don't mind the contract, especially with family plans.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
I hope you mean $50 with a contract... Otherwise tell me where! :)

Me too! lol
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