February 23, 2010

Bikinis Mysteriously Disappear

It’s all in the news headlines again now — Apple is removing content from the App Store.  This time instead of my picture of a knife, Slasher, it’s “sexually-suggestive” apps.  I’d write a lot more on the subject, but I think my earlier posts accurately describe how I feel about it all.

Frankly I’m a bit surprised the apps were approved in the first place.  I remember the very first drafts of the App Store agreement explicitly disallowed sexual content.  But I’m sure some developers didn’t read it, or read it and didn’t care, and tried to put their mature content up there anyway… and then by some stroke of luck either Apple changed their policy, or chose to not enforce the rule.  Apps showing skin are bound to sell and sell very well, so it’s no surprise that once the door was opened the flood began.

And now the developers are in the same boat I was when Slasher got pulled.  I empathize with them.  It took me many months of unanswered emails and a couple of telephone calls that I thought went nowhere to get my app back online.  I doubt Apple is going to reverse course on this one, as the number of apps being pulled is way too large.  (But Apple has surprised me before countless times — they may do so again.  You never know.  But don’t hold your breath.)

In summary:  Apple should not be a censor based on content.  They have parental controls on the device.  Use those instead.  People also have filters in their own actions:  if someone does not want a sex app on their phone, simply do not download it.  Problem solved.  Next.  Move along…