Apple Selectively Kicks Adult Apps Out of App Store
Article by George Norman
On 25 Feb 2010
This whole story started about a week ago when the developer of iPhone app “Wobble iBoobs” received an email from Apple explaining that the app has been kicked out of the App Store. In the email, Apple explained that numerous customers complained about this type of content (adult, of course) and so they changed the App Store’s guidelines. Wobble iBoobs was the kind of app that Apple “originally believed to be suitable for distribution” but not anymore.

“Whenever we receive customer complaints about objectionable content we review them. If we find these apps contain inappropriate material we remove them and request the developer make any necessary changes in order to be distributed by Apple,” explained Apple.

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It wasn’t just Wobble iBoobs that saw Apple’s boot. The company decided to remove “any overtly sexual content from the App Store”. In this category more than 5000 other apps that catered to the tastes of the adult audience we included – and they were kicked out of the App Store.

According to the developer of Wobble iBoobs, Jon Atherton at Chillifresh, Apple is enforcing these new rules when it comes to apps that feature adult content:
  1. No images of women in bikinis (Ice skating tights are not OK either)
  2. No images of men in bikinis! (I didn’t ask about Ice Skating tights for men)
  3. No skin (he seriously said this) (I asked if a Burqa was OK, and the Apple guy got angry)
  4. No silhouettes that indicate that Wobble can be used for wobbling boobs (yes – I am serious, we have to remove the silhouette in this pic)
  5. No sexual connotations or innuendo: boobs, babes, booty, sex – all banned
  6. Nothing that can be sexually arousing!! (I doubt many people could get aroused with the pic above but those puritanical guys at Apple must get off on pretty mundane things to find Wobble “overtly sexual!)
  7. No apps will be approved that in any way imply sexual content (not sure how Playboy is still in the store, but …)

The weird thing is that Apple, in its fight to rid the App Store of adult apps, only selectively removed apps. A Sports Illustrated app tied to its annual swimsuit issue for example was not removed. Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, Philip Schiller, commented: “The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format.” So in Schiller’s own words, it’s okay to break Apple’s own rules if you’re renowned. Just one more example of Apple’s more than opaque policies.



Tags: Apple, App Store, App
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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