Apple App Ban

Last week Apple began banning so-called “blue” iPhone apps containing “overtly sexual content.” Even some shopping sites for women’s swimwear, such as SimplyBeach, where about as much skin as any preteen could see were banned. However, on Monday of this week Apple said it intends to leave up  apps from major publishers, such as Playboy and Sports.

In an interview with The New York Times’Jenna Wortham, Apple’s vice president of marketing Phil Schiller explained the company was responding to complaints from concerned parents and female customers.

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.

I and many others still question the non-banning of Sports Illustrated and Playboy apps. Schiller explained that the Playboy and Sports Illustrated apps came from more reputable companies.Schiller said:

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

Wortham interviewed Fred Clarke, co-president of a small software company called On the Go Girls, who lost 50 apps as a result of the ban. Clarke had been making thousands of dollars off the App Store, but no longer.

It’s very hard to go from making a good living to zero. This goes farther than sexy content. For developers, how do you know you aren’t going to invest thousands into a business only to find out one day you’ve been cut off?

Another developer whose questionable app was removed from the app store received this letter from Apple:

The App Store continues to evolve, and as such, we are constantly refining our guidelines. Your application, Wobble iBoobs (Premium Uncensored), contains content that we had originally believed to be suitable for distribution. However, we have recently received numerous complaints from our customers about this type of content, and have changed our guidelines appropriately.

We have decided to remove any overtly sexual content from the App Store, which includes your application.

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.

Sincerely,
iPhone App Review

Yet when TechCrunch asked Apple about their decision to remove certain other questionable apps up while banning others Apple replied:

Whenever we receive customer complaints about objectionable content we review them. If we find apps that contain inappropriate material we remove them from the App Store and request the developer to make any necessary changes to their apps in order to be distributed by Apple.

From the very beginning Apple has  said that porn was not to be  allowed in the App Store. So most  developers  coded apps that contained only partial nudity.Of course some sneaked full  nudity in, but Apple was quick to catch on and ban them. In 2009 Apple implemented a Parental Controls feature to prevent children from downloading 17+ rated conten . However, just as on the web, it will still allow the App Store to display search results for 17+ content even if they have been  prohibited from  downloading .

Now more than ever, perhaps, Apple wants to retain its “sqeaky clean” image especially in light of their courting companies such as  CBS and Disney to participate in their plans for their proposed TV Subscription service .

Let us know how you view this latest Apple move.

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