iTunes Error Leads to Uncontrolled Censorship
Article by George Norman
On 27 Oct 2008
Visitors to the iTunes UK Music Store have noticed that Apple's decision to censor potentially offensive words did not go all that smoothly. As a result, literally thousands of song titles, band names and album names have been erroneously censored (which is to say that letters in these offensive names were replaced with *).

Blanking out some words is a regular feature with iTunes – after all, you wouldn't want someone's delicate senses to be offended by all sorts of profanities that can make their way into a song's title. There are also “explicit” and “caution” labels attached to songs with an explicitly adult content.


So what's the problem? Thanks to a “database glitch”, as an Apple UK spokesperson named it, legitimate artist names and song titles were censored. Johnny Cash for example became J****y Cash while “Smells Like Teen Spirit” became “Smells Like T**n Spirit. Oddly enough the band name Pussycat Dolls was not censored, even though it contains the word “pussy” - which in some contexts may be offensive. Is in Apple's view “Johnny” more offensive than “pussy”?

Here is another thing I do not get. The word “murder” is visible compared to the word “killer” which is censored. The same goes for “gay”, which is also visible compared to “lesbian” which has been covered with *. How are these words different? This is not only censorship, it is word discrimination.

Apple says that the problem will be solved as fast as possible. Although the censorship was not on purpose, no one with the company can provide an adequate explanation why their filtering software all of a sudden started to consider “Johnny” or “teen” as offensive words. The software will undergo a thorough going over so that in the future it will do a proper job – which is to say that the “f” word will continue do be blanked out.

Tags: Apple, iTunes
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

I Hope you LIKE this blog post! Thank you!
What do YOU have to say about this
blog comments powered by Disqus
Popular News
By George Norman on 28 Jun 2017
The last time that Yahoo Mail changed its design was back in October 2013, when it celebrated its "sweet sixteen." That old design has now been replaced with a new one, and here's everything that's changed.
By George Norman on 26 Jun 2017
Remember the classic SEGA games of old, the ones that you used to play as a kid? Well, SEGA is taking you on a nostalgia trip by giving you the chance to play these games once more, but this time on your mobile.
Related News
By George Norman on 22 Mar 2017
What’s better than getting a brand new iPhone 7? Getting a brand new iPhone 7 that tells everyone you care about others and you’re willing to help the fight against AIDS.
By George Norman on 03 May 2017
Instagram, the photo-sharing application that was once available for iOS only, has grown into one of the biggest and most influential social networks in the world.
By George Norman on 23 Jan 2017
Super Mario Run, the mobile game that Nintendo unveiled at Apple’s iPhone 7 event in September 2016 and published to Apple’s App Store in December 2016, will finally be rolled out to Android this March.
By George Norman on 07 Apr 2017
So what if Apple is "the competition"? That’s not going to stop Microsoft from creating apps for Apple’s iOS mobile operating system, not when Apple’s iPhone is hugely popular and barely anyone wants to purchase a Windows Phone.
Sponsored Links
Hot Software Updates
Top Downloads
Become A Fan!
Link To Us!
iTunes Error Leads to Uncontrolled Censorship
HTML Linking Code