August 7, 2008

Pictures Of Knives Are Offensive

I received this communication from Apple this evening as to why Slasher was removed:

Slasher has been removed from the App Store based on section 3.3.12 of the iPhone SDK agreement covering objectionable content.

3.3.12 Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or
defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple's reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users.

So what this essentially means is that a picture of a knife is deemed offensive and/or objectionable.  (I don't see how it could be pornographic, obscene, or defamatory.)  Ridiculous.  Why do toy stores sell plastic knives to children if they would be so “objectionable”?  And if I don't like another App Store developer, all I have to do is complain that their app offends me and Apple will pull the plug on them?

Anyhow, I asked Apple to clarify what exactly is the offensive part so I can correct it.  Hopefully I can get Slasher back on the store somehow.

Slasher Mysteriously Disappears

I submitted my very first iPhone (and iPod Touch) app to the App Store on Saturday the 2nd.  It lingered in stasis awaiting approval, and finally yesterday the 6th it was approved.  Slasher appeared on the iTunes App Store.  Slasher is a very simple app, made just for pure amusement purposes.  It shows a picture of a kitchen knife on the screen and also plays a sound when you shake the phone.  Amidst mixed reviews (it seems to be very polarizing — either you love it or hate it) today Slasher disappeared from the App Store.  No warning.  No email telling me it was yanked.  I sent Apple an email asking for an explanation, and so far there has been no response.

I have no problem with people objecting to Slasher, after all everyone has their own personal taste.  I do have a problem with the App Store refusing to publish Slasher because they don't like it.  What about all those people who would otherwise enjoy using Slasher?  Why deny them only because a few others object?  I knew at the outset that I was at the mercy of the App Store.  I didn't realize I would be affected by the App Store capriciousness so soon.

Luckily Slasher was posted as a free download.  If I had elected to charge a fee then I'd be more than just a little bit upset.

Hopefully this event is just a bump in the road and soon Slasher will be back up for everyone to enjoy.