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Apple Bans Sexy Apps, Developers Upset

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the always-seems-to-matter-when-dollars-are-at-stake dept.

Censorship 492

An anonymous reader writes "Apple is now removing many risque applications from its App Store so as not to 'scare off potential customers.' The removed applications, including SlideHer and Dirty Fingers, allowed people to see scantily clad women. Although they were once approved by Apple, even reaching the 'most downloaded' lists, Apple removed them after getting complaints that they were degrading to women. That said, the Sports Illustrated application is still available for those who want scantily clad women on their iPhone, and developers are up in arms over the perceived inconsistency. It's sure a good thing for those worried parents that they don't have any kind of web browser on there. On the internet, you're never more than one click away from something horrible." Some are speculating that this is a ploy from Apple to drum up interest in the iPad from educators.

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492 comments

Perhaps another Sudoku app... (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246462)


Apple Bans Sexy Apps, Developers Upset

Shoot.

Damn.... here I was just about to submit v1.00 of VirtualCunt.

.

Re:Perhaps another Sudoku app... (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246542)

Well, don't submit it to the 'Education' store. Oh, wait. There isn't one... Well, why the hell not?

I cannot for a minute believe that the 'histrionic control freaks' at Apple can not come up with separate Adult and Education sections (Dumb and Dumber?) for the iPad. Or even an iPad only part of the store.

Nope, too damned hard. Might take all of a week.

Any more weird ideas, guys?

Re:Perhaps another Sudoku app... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31246902)

The real reason is because all naughty apps feature women, and Apple don't want to alienate their rabidly male homosexual userbase.

why dumb and dumber (1)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247152)

Just because someone doesn't follow your logic doesn't make them dumb. There could be a variety of reasons, a few being, A.) adult content isn't worth that much when opportunity cost is taken in to consideration. What's the point in pleasing a few depraved nerds when you can indoctrinate an entire generation from grade school. B.) This could be from a lobbyist stand point. Apple lobbies some senator for support with the educational system and there stipulation is get rid of the porn. At this point in cooperate management nothing comes down to being dumb or dumb.

Re:Perhaps another Sudoku app... (4, Informative)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247280)

iTunes U [apple.com] is the education section of the iTunes store.

Re:Perhaps another Sudoku app... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31246558)

Troll? Humorless mods. Tag this story "VirtualCunt" !

Re:Perhaps another Sudoku app... (3, Informative)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246766)

"God, schmod, I want my monkeyman^Wibewbies!"

Why can't Apple let the market decide. Set up some sort of rating system so people can filter out stuff they don't want to see.

Re:Perhaps another Sudoku app... (4, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247018)

Apple isn't known for letting the market decide. They are control freaks. Their behavior in regard to the App Store is totally unreasonable, and it is going to kill the App Store. They need to learn to "Think Different". Assholes.

Re:Perhaps another Sudoku app... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31247348)

Apple Bans Sexy Apps, Developers Upset

  Shoot.

Damn.... here I was just about to submit v1.00 of VirtualCunt. .

I'm not sure why anyone would want to play a game where they pretend to date my Ex.

unbelievable, yet very believable (2, Insightful)

cyber1kenobi (666018) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246496)

Apple makes some of the dumbest moves in regards to the lifeline of their app store - the developers! Boy are they good at pissing people off! I'm a very happy shareholder (picked it up at 27 back when...!) but every day there's some new twist that they've pulled and alienated this group or that. I think parental controls and allowing any app that doesn't do harm to the phone itself would be their best stance - how many sales are they missing because of these China-like rules?

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246610)

Agreed. Sony learned from their VHS vs. Betamax lessons and proved it with the success of Bluray. What was the lesson? Betamax discouraged porn on their format. The result was that VHS won because it didn't and while no one wants to be found guilty of favoring VHS for porn, that was a significant factor in buyers' purchasing decisions.

Sony almost took the same route with Bluray and realized their mistake was being repeated early on and allowed porn.

Apple? If you don't allow adult content for adults to use while your competitors do? Watch out.

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246884)

Apple? If you don't allow adult content for adults to use while your competitors do? Watch out.

Because Apple has become about being in a certain mindset. They not only promote it, lately they're doing their best to ENFORCE it. If you use Apple, you're a young, cool, hip, media loving yuppy. Even if you're 50 years old you must still believe in this image to fit with Apple. You sit in coffee shops for hours with your Apple devices wearing black turtlenecks and sipping over-priced latte's. Porn (along with other things that Apple declares so) doesn't fit within this envelope; it's just too "uncool" for Apple to sully itself with, so they actively forbid such applications on their devices now (and make no mistake - with the level of control they are THEIR devices, not yours). And if you dare complain? Their only retort is "You're not the target audience. This product isn't for you."

It's insane the level of conformity they want to push. Basically, think, act, and talk like us, and if you don't, get out of the group so you don't corrupt the rest of us.

At one time I remember loving the fact that Mac OS X and other Apple products were becoming more popular. "Anything to give me a commercial alternative to Microsoft" I thought. Now - truthfully I prefer Microsoft to Apple. Microsoft is merely incompetent with their products. Apple, despite it's higher technical competence, is flat out evil incarnate. I'm praying that Linux based computers and devices both the both of them back into a market position where they have to be behave again though.

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (1, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247112)

Oddly, porn is illegal in some jurisdictions. Were I giving an i-something to a 14 year old boy, I think I'd like to have a bit of control over what that boy's watching if he's my child, and my responsibility. Eventually, he might break out of whatever limits are imposed, but that's his initiative, and mine as a parent.

Once he's matured, I'd say he has the right to do what he wants. Most men consumer porn. Most boys should not.

That Apple is having a hard time with dividing who and what's acceptable is the tough choice that all content providers have to figure out. Stereotyping Apple users as latte-sucking neo-poofs is pretty droll. Some work pretty damn hard for a living, just like Windows and Linux machine users. Superficial observations suits few purposes.

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247190)

The reason for their apparent difficulty is that they are trying to make a single store work for everybody.

If they ceded control to the people who owned the devices (even just a little bit of control), there wouldn't be a problem.

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247332)

The blade cuts both ways. If there were a gateway to an adult area, just like the eBayMA works, then they'd provide a suitable gateway for those seeking adult stuff. But this requires authentication, and currently, we don't have a way to hold up an ID to the camera and have someone nod you in the dirty app store. Perhaps some day they'll figure it out. Were I forced to take sides, I'd rather have PG-rated apps rather than R-only or all ratings available. If there's assurance that an imposed parental control is effective, that would be fine. Of course sexting seems to go right around those, sadly.

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31247254)

Why would you be giving an i-something to a 14 year old boy?

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (5, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247330)

>>>Agreed. Sony learned from their VHS vs. Betamax lessons and proved it with the success of Bluray. What was the lesson? Betamax discouraged porn on their format.
>>>

I wish people would stop posting false stories. Sony allowed Betamax to carry porn, and have (or rather had) a whole library to prove it. Playboy, swimsuits, unmentionable stuff - it was all available on Betamax. You are quoting a false urban legend. In reality the reason Betamax failed is because it only supported 1 hour per tape (in 1975) and people felt 1 hour was not long enough to record an evening football game, or primetime programming, or afternoon soaps.

So instead they chose VHS which supported 4 hours (in 1976). While Sony later increased the max record time to 3 hours in 1980, the damage had already been done, and VHS had already gained dominance.

As for quality between VHS and Betamax, that is yet another urban legend. Just as Sony tried to dupe people into believing the PS2 had Toy Story-level graphics, so too did they try the same with Betamax, but in reality, there's no statistical difference:
- Both are 3 megahertz video bandwidth (250 lines analog horizontal resolution)
- Both have 0.6 megahertz chroma bandwidth
- Both have AM-quality sound recording... and later Hi-Fi recording

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246730)

"how many sales are they missing because of these China-like rules?"
Probably none at all. Or not enough that it matters.

China like rules? Please if you don't like it don't buy an iPhone. Apple is just using it's freedom of choice. It is their store and they can choose to carry what they want.
Every time I see a story like this about how upset people are I just have to giggle. The developers will stay with the iPhone as long as they are making money. People will buy the iPhone as long as they can get the apps they want.
For Apple to have "China like rules" they would be throwing people in jail for writing the apps for android that they don't like. Right now they are no different that a tee shirt shop that doesn't want to carry tee shirts pro KKK shirts.
Call me when their sales start dropping.

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (2, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246820)

For Apple to have "China like rules" they would be throwing people in jail for writing the apps for android that they don't like. Right now they are no different that a tee shirt shop that doesn't want to carry tee shirts pro KKK shirts.

Nope... they already ban political apps.

From http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/09/apple-denied-health-care-app-for-political-reasons-developer-says/ [wired.com]

Apple rejected a free iPhone application that advocated a single-payer health system, calling the application “politically charged,” according to the app’s developer.

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247104)

>> Yes... they already ban political apps, which proves your point.

There, fixed it for you.

        -dZ.

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247122)

Right now they are no different that a tee shirt shop that doesn't want to carry tee shirts pro KKK shirts.

Did you just compare porn to the ku klux klan? What the hell type of porn do you watch? Alternatively, what the hell happens at a KKK uh... meeting?

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31247212)

Please if you don't like it don't buy an iPhone.

Of course, Apple will offer a refund to all people that purchased the device before they changed their secret rules again, so they may return the phone and get out of the AT&T contract?

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31247286)

"Apple is just using it's freedom of choice. It is their store and they can choose to carry what they want."

I wonder what you'd say if Microsoft did something like this.

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31247360)

"how many sales are they missing because of these China-like rules?" [...] Probably none at all. [...] Please if you don't like it don't buy an iPhone.

Yes, that's the point. cyber1kenobe is wondering how many people are not liking it and not buying an iPhone as a result.

Call me when their sales start dropping.

Ring ring. [bnet.com]

Re:unbelievable, yet very believable (1, Interesting)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247002)

99% of the "developers" making these bikini girl apps are actually chinese or indian app sweatshops churning out sub-standard crap on a quantity over quality basis. I feel sorry for the other 1% but I think this is Apple doing a preemptive strike against these crApp Factories ahead of the iPad launch.

Awwwwww (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31246508)

Look at me crying for these devs who supported this fucked up anticonsumer family of products.

And I'm laughing on the inside looking at their wittle tears.

Re:Awwwwww (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246680)

.

Do you know what that dot is up there? Thats a tiny animated gif playing the worlds smallest violin.

This Is Not Censorship At All (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31246536)

I find it laughable that slashdot labels so many stories as evil censorship or somehow violating "your rights online" when it is nothing of the sort.

The fact is, a consumer retailer like Apple can stock and sell whatever products to choose to its customers. What they don't stock is really none of your business, and if you don't like, take your products and have someone else carry it.

This is just another non-issue. The problem with Apple is that they are too successful, they need to keep out the riff raff.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31246640)

A government is just a big corporation with guns which no-one has yet succeeded in overthrowing.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31246642)

Rights violated? No. Censorship? It most certainly is.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (5, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246646)

I'd say taking down a best seller App based on its "Risque-ness" is censorship, any way you want to slice it.

Apple can stock and sell whatever products it wants to choose from. Yes. It is still censorship - but we've come to terms that private companies have the right to censorship. Apple is fine with censoring, its their product. And I agree - there's nothing wrong with that. But to say it isn't censorship is like saying the Chinese government isn't censoring web searches, they are just choosing to provide what they think is best, not censorship at all.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (0, Troll)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246750)

This is like forcing your coastal urban metrosexuals into being forced to watch nothing but the 700 club and Leave it to Beaver.

This is the problem of being an all encompassing monopoly and trying to please everyone all at the same time.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (3, Insightful)

bughunter (10093) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246850)

The GP's Subject line is inaccurate, but the body of his post is correct.

It is censorship, but it's not 'evil' censorship, nor is it a violation of anyone's rights.

Apple is exercising their right to control what's in their storefront. If you don't like it, you have other options for your porn^H^H^Hhone.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31247046)

But we also have the right to report on it and complain about it. So other people are informed when making decisions about products and so that Apple and other companies know what their customers want.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31247054)

I think the issue is not that they are "censoring" or exercising their right to control products in their storefront, but that 1) they are doing so in a way that is anticompetitive, favoring Playboy and Sports Illustrated over smaller brands, 2) they allowed developers to build businesses around products, probably in some cases hiring employees and making other significant decisions thinking that they could sell these products because Apple had approved them (while this isn't necessarily immoral or wrong, it's arbitrary and capricious and of course will make some developers lose trust in Apple's system), and of course 3) Apple has set themselves up as the sole supplier of apps for this platform, so the user has no ability to go to another source to choose to get the kind of "mature" content they want - your only choice, if this kind of content matters to you, is to chuck your device out the window and go to a competitor's products - the problem is some people may have invested money and signed contracts with companies based on the (probably misplaced) expectation that they had some freedom about what sort of apps they could install on their phones.

In the end, this is the whining of certain puritanical segments dictating the availability of products that cannot, by their nature, be sold through any other venue. That's a bad thing to many of us, regardless of whether the content is particularly meritorious or has other near substitutes (if it's just a slideshow of boobies, presumably you can get that on the web all you want, but with this many apps banned, there are surely some things that aren't completely replaceable with some web surfing).

Posting anon since I've modded in this story. :)

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247062)

What about the consumers right to determine what they can do with their property? Their rights trump Apple's in every moral sense. Apple is interfering with the transactions of third parties; it is only a twisted copyright law and mathematical locks that allow them to stick their nose where it doesn't belong.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (0, Offtopic)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247174)

Out of curiosity, how do you feel about gun issues, etc?

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31247230)

You can do whatever the hell you want with your iPhone. Make it a doorstop or a suppository. Apple is under no obligation to sell apps that you want. You're under no obligation to buy an iPhone or even to not jailbreak the one you have.

Here's a belabored car analogy: Ford is under no obligation to sell truck balls. Even if they were to start selling them, they could stop at any time. They can even void your warranty if you attach third-party truck balls. Don't like it? Don't buy a Ford or take complete responsibility for the machine.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247184)

I wouldn't really consider any censorship "evil" in that regard, as most of it is done with "Good intentions".

I mean, to think that censoring internet sites is a violation of Free Speech is stretching your rights so much that you could think that Apple removing an App from their store is just as valid of being called Censorship.

What - the only difference is that one is a private company doing it for their own interests? It's their product?

So - in the same light, Internet Service Providers (being a private company and all) filtering searches for their own interests (friends with the gov't) is not "evil censorship" at all.

I think we've just blurred the lines and created so many double standards that we need to redefine censorship - or start applying the rules properly - or drop them altogether. I haven't decided which of those 3 would be the worse.

No, this isn't censorship (1, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247008)

Censorship is when a third party prevents you from reading or viewing or watching content that you want to. In this case, Apple is the arbiter of their own app store for their own devices, and you know when you buy it that they get to choose what you do and do not have access to in the app store. It may be stupid and petty and lazy and a general sign of their incompetence, but that's not the same thing as censorship.

If Apple prevented you from viewing sexy items on the internet in general, then that would be censorship. This is more akin to a quickie mart that stops carrying Hustler. There are still other places to get Hustler.

(Side note: this is a good and valid argument for markets and competition. Where Apple fails, you can choose another vendor. In the market for tablet devices, the worst outcome is that you were swindled out of several hundred dollars. You just need slight regulation to make sure they don't catch fire or hand out your bank information out of the box.)

Re:No, this isn't censorship (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247044)

Unless of course, the App was only for the iPhone, and it was accessible at one point. Now it is not. Thus, Apple is the third party, restricting you from accessing something you once could. Yes?

Re:No, this isn't censorship (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247324)

I don't think there is a good analogy for what this is. The problem is not what they choose to carry in their store front. The problem is the measures they take to lock you into an exclusive deal with their storefront. The customer can always go somewhere else, but it does make for a crappy product.

So let's call it censorship, then. (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247030)

I'd say taking down a best seller App based on its "Risque-ness" is censorship, any way you want to slice it.

So let's call it censorship, then.

Doesn't really matter. Once you buy into their single point of sale ecosystem, you're buying into their censorship. They have the right to do as they see fit with their storefront.

Don't like it? There are other options.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246790)

That's right citizen, bend over and take it.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246828)

What they don't stock is really none of your business, and if you don't like, take your products and have someone else carry it.

That's an argument against regulation, not against consumer outrage. I don't like it and because of that I'm expressing my intent to take my products elsewhere, informing everyone else about the problem so they too can make an informed decision.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31246930)

"The problem with Apple is that they are too successful, they need to keep out the riff raff."

Yeah, except 99% of people I know with iPhones are the gullable chav underclass who believe the iPhone makes them somehow look middle class, so I guess they can't even manage to keep the riff-raff out properly.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246966)

This Is Not Censorship At All
by Anonymous Coward [aka Steve Jobs]

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247004)

I find it irksome that people have such an impoverished understanding of how censorship works.

Yes, the sort of censorship where a government bureaucrat with a slightly sinister mustache uses the threat of state violence to control your speech is the most extreme and severe form. And, if you simply must, you are free to assert that this is the only "true censorship". You can then go on to assert that anything else isn't "real" censorship, and anything that has some link to a contractual relationship, no matter how tenuous the link or adhesive the contract, is happy and voluntary and not at all censorship. Hurray, hurray!

However, and this part is important: Censorship is evil and dangerous in two distinct respects: The first is that it involves the illegitimate use(or threat of use) of violence for coercive ends. The second is that it distorts a society's flow of information in whatever direction is favored by the powerful and the incumbents. Since both democracies and free markets depend on informed actors, this is a major practical problem(and, of course, vibrant cultures arguably depend on the ability of individuals to express themselves without constraint).

It is true that the various forms of "censorship lite" practiced by the private sector(and some aspects of the public sector, through subtler than armed force means) possess relatively little of the first respect(though, unless you have ample resources, private sector use of lawsuits and contracts of adhesion to secure your silence can be unpleasantly close to coercive force). However, these forms of censorship possess the second respect to an enormous degree, likely greater than that of state censorship in all but the most repressive societies. The majority of controls over access to, and expression of, information faced by the people of any moderately free society are private sector. Many of them are, at least ostensibly, voluntary to some degree. Nevertheless, they have an effect.

Police-state censorship is evil; but dramatic and(in the more or less free world) relatively rare. The creeping death-by-a-thousand-cuts of the private sector, with its arbitration clauses, cryptographic controls, content filters, lawsuit threats, media ownership consolidation and so on and so forth is where the vast majority of information landscape distortion is happening. It is subtle, and most of it can be rationalized as "voluntary" with enough jesuitical hair-splitting about contracts; but that makes it no less dangerous.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31247124)

Just because they can do it doesn't mean it's right. Some people complain because they like the hardware of the iphone and the user interface. Now they want to be able to use certain apps and they can't I certainly think that is worth complaining about. Sure you can go and get another phone but isn't the market also about leveraging what people want? If it's not enough people to care then it is what it is but don't dismiss customer dissatisfaction because Apple can do whatever it wants. You are the same guys who complain when Google or Microsoft exercised their business direction too. You don't like what they do? Fine, it's your right and your prerogative to let them know your dissatisfaction. You tell people to deal with whatever Apple does or beat it, maybe you should deal with a world where people aren't going to be happy with certain changes a company makes. DEAL WITH IT.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247154)

I find it laughable that slashdot labels so many stories as evil censorship or somehow violating "your rights online" when it is nothing of the sort.

The fact is, a consumer retailer like Apple can censor whatever products to choose to its customers.

FTFY

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247170)

The fact is, a consumer retailer like Apple can stock and sell whatever products to choose to its customers. What they don't stock is really none of your business, and if you don't like, take your products and have someone else carry it.

And exactly what store should they get to carry their iPhone/iPod app? Oh yeah, the Apple app store is the only store where iPhone/iPod users get their apps.

If iPhone/iPod users had an alternative store to buy apps then this would be a non-issue as you put it. However, since Apple is being very Microsofty in the lock-in of customers to their app store this is an unfair action against an app that they had no problem carrying when they were building their market but is deemed "inappropriate" now that Apple has established their captive customer base.

Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247284)

You seem to be operating under the delusion that only governments can engage in censorship. Call it whatever you like if it makes you feel better, but what Apple is doing is effectively the same as censorship.

Even a swimwear merchant app that sold bikinis (5, Informative)

WebManWalking (1225366) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246538)

A merchant app that sold bikinis was dropped too, for showing girls in bikinis. http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/02/23/swimwear_seller_hit_by_apples_removal_of_sexual_apps.html [appleinsider.com]

Re:Even a swimwear merchant app that sold bikinis (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246706)

>>>A merchant app that sold bikinis was dropped too, for showing girls in bikinis.

fap fap fap

Teacher: "What's that noise?"
Students: (silent)
Teacher: "So like I was saying, during the antitrust legislation, President..."

fap fap fap

Teacher: "Okay knock it off!"
Guy-in-back: "Oh sorry. I was just using my iPhone."

THIS is why Apple banned the ap. Hmmm... looking at this site, I'm wondering why it's possible to order the bottom of the bikini w/o the top? What good's a swimsuit with no top? LINK http://www.simplybeach.com/products/Seafolly/MauiHipsterTieSidewithBand-Cinder.aspx [simplybeach.com]

Re:Even a swimwear merchant app that sold bikinis (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246900)

To wear to a topless beach?

To wear with a different bikini top you think looks better?

To wear with a t-shirt?

Re:Even a swimwear merchant app that sold bikinis (3, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246932)

...I'm wondering why it's possible to order the bottom of the bikini w/o the top? What good's a swimsuit with no top?...

It is for the locations that are free enough to allow topless beaches, but puritanical enough to not allow nude beaches.

Re:Even a swimwear merchant app that sold bikinis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31247134)

Where do you see that there is no top for sale I see a top and bottom for sale? You do realise that many areas of the world have topless beaches or was that concept shielded from you by your parents and your now your iphone as well?

Even political apps too (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246722)

There was a app for a countdown clock for second term of Bush in Nov 2008. When it was rejected, the author emailed Apple, and Jobs himself replied: http://www.juggleware.com/blog/2008/09/steve-jobs-writes-back/ [juggleware.com]

Mr. Jobs replied : Even though my personal political leanings are democratic, I think this app will be offensive to roughly half our customers. Whatâ(TM)s the point? Steve

Well... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246544)

I guess axing ~5,000 applications is easier than building a more effective and granular per-device rating setting system...

Lazier, though, a lot lazier.

Free boobs. (2, Interesting)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246568)

As someone who downloaded "Free Boobs" you can find more scantily clad women in a sears catalog...

app delete.

Besides, that is what your browser is for you lazy app using sods!

Ugh (2, Insightful)

magsol (1406749) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246594)

I'm pretty sure Apple could drum up an altruistic-sounding or business-smart reason to ban just about any app from their store.

-No competing browsers? They duplicate existing functionality. Certainly wouldn't want that.
-No scantily clad women? They objectify women. But pay no heed to the Sports Illustrated app or the entirety of the internet at your very literal fingertips.
-No Google voice? Also duplicates existing functionality. But be sure to ignore the allowance of Skype.

Yep, Apple's got a good reason for everything that it does, and its reason is placing consumers and developers first!

Re:Ugh (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246732)

Yep, Apple's got a good reason for everything that it does, and its reason is placing consumers and developers first!

What they didn't tell you is that its a 0 indexed Array, where Apple's Revenue takes up the 0 slot.

Re:Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31246812)

I'm pretty sure Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft could drum up an altruistic-sounding or business-smart reason to ban just about any game from their console licensing.

I'm tired of this "degrading toward women" crap (3, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246596)

Typical feminist hypocrisy on **anything** that might appeal to heterosexual male sexuality, but that doesn't involve a "by your leave, your majesty" from a woman! It's ok for a woman to masturbate, use toys and sleep around. That's "empowering." A man does anything like that and he's "degrading women."

*** to a woman, not "from a woman." (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246614)

Heh, guess I should have proof read that a little better.

Re:I'm tired of this "degrading toward women" crap (1)

hitnrunrambler (1401521) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247176)

I personally have no problem with referring to risque-pics as "degrading toward ugly women". ...of course ugly women have as much political power these days as "middle aged white male executives"; so to remain in a position like apple means bowing to the opinions or people who read either "Fortune" or "Sexless Hag" magazine. (maybe both)

Re:I'm tired of this "degrading toward women" crap (2, Informative)

TheTyrannyOfForcedRe (1186313) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247182)

Typical feminist hypocrisy on **anything** that might appeal to heterosexual male sexuality, but that doesn't involve a "by your leave, your majesty" from a woman! It's ok for a woman to masturbate, use toys and sleep around. That's "empowering." A man does anything like that and he's "degrading women."

Apparently you didn't get the memo. All straight men are rapists and thus bad people.

I was actually taught that in my Freshmen Writing class at Carnegie Mellon University. The content of said "writing" class was in reality "gender studies" but no one seemed to care.

No instructor could ever get away with teaching intermediate Spanish instead of chip layout in a semiconductor design class...

What is obscene? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31246612)

"...you're never more than one click away from something horrible"

Like ... a naked female body? Spoiling them poor kids?
A gun is million more times obscene then a female breast!

Reality TV is obscene. Billy Graham is obscene. Muscle cars are obscene.
A beautiful woman is not.

Re:What is obscene? (1)

bheer (633842) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246696)

> A gun is million more times obscene then a female breast!

Speak for yourself. I love 'em both.

Guns are precision-crafted machines. Done right they can be beautiful. Idiots wielding them to cause mayhem -- now _that's_ obscene.

Re:What is obscene? (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246708)

"A gun is million more times obscene then a female breast!"

- hehe, you said breast . .

Puritanical censorship sucks. (4, Interesting)

bheer (633842) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246632)

Especially on a product that has "Designed ... in California" on its back. Here are some alternative things Apple could do that would keep the app store clean and still go after the edu market:

1) Require app developers to keep screenshots G-rated.
1a) If necessary, ask app developers to keep the app names "clean". This is harder to do and I'm not comfortable about this, but the general guidance is that "Playboy" and "Wobble" is okay, but "AssTits Deluxe" is not. There should be bright-line guidance for what is okay and what is not.
2) Use content ratings to keep things at (roughtly) R or even M level. Users should have to manually change settings to see NC-17-rated content.
3) Only allow folks with credit cards (nominally adults) to see NC-17 rated content.
4) Extend enterprise policies (which the iPhone already supports) to allow admins to block levels of content.

These are from the top of my head. But all of these are better than going all Taliban [geekculture.com] on app developers.

Re:Puritanical censorship sucks. (2, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246874)

Why not just allow people to download off websites without jailbreaking, like every computer out there instead of jumping through all those hoops? Oh, that 30% cut and control.

Good Move (5, Insightful)

repetty (260322) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246684)

They were hardly real apps. "Big Boobs," "Large Boobs," "Young Boobs," et cetera, et cetera. Recipe: Make an image display app, throw some pictures into it, make another version with different pictures, repeat indefinitely.

They probably really only deleted five or ten real distinct apps.

Silly Apple (1)

RogerWilco (99615) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246688)

Where to draw the line?

There are many applications that have some less-than-fully-dressed women (and men!) in them, what to think of apps like "Funny Pics" or "LOLcats"? Soon we'll only have Burqua clad women in the AppStore?

Sure, make a separate Adult/18+ category or something, I'm fine with that.

I'm not saying this because I don't want to protect children or offend any women. I just think that there is no way to consistently apply any criteria beyond "not showing genitals", without banning a lot more apps than they currently have. And then the inequality of not banning SI or PB added on top of that.

And given that there is a browser on the system, Google-Images is only two clicks away.

It's like banning all apps that have references to gambling, smoking or driving irresponsible. This is just beyond silly.

And I'm saying that as someone who often defends Apple.

Re:Silly Apple (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247024)

Also, who is to say it's not the woman in the Pic that made the app? Maybe she's a tiny figured hungry woman who has chosen this method of selling her body to the public? Why Apple feels that they have the right to censor is ridiculous. But this is also one of the reasons I don't have an iPhone.

no, they're empowering (0, Troll)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246752)

Women and men do not need to be ashamed of their bodies. It is disappointing that Apple is contributing to the harmful Abrahamic stereotype that your body is dirty and something to be ashamed of - in particular, it seems here that Apple is telling women to cover up (and get back to the kitchen?), even having a problem with swimwear merchant apps.

Re:no, they're empowering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31247278)

I'm sitting here and an iPhone ad just came on the TV, talking about an app for trainers (showing well-known labels). It's OK for guys to draw attention to their bodies, you see - but not women.

Degradation or women?? (1)

desertjedi85 (1701804) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246760)

Last I checked Sports Illustrated isn't trafficking women forcing them to pose in swimsuits. These women make their own choice to pose for these thing. Just because some conservative women don't like it who cares.

Developers? (5, Insightful)

haus (129916) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246778)

Not that I am a big fan of getting rid of a bunch of content because of seemingly arbitrary rules, but from the sounds of it many of this 'apps' are nothing more then a image (or a few images) of a girl/boy/goat in a bikini. It seems like a bit of a stretch to refer to those who create such content as developers.

Re:Developers? (4, Informative)

atrus (73476) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247000)

Thats the crux of it. The applications were spammy, brought nothing to the table except for a few pictures at $0.99. You could churn out 100 such applications in a day, and some people got close to that rate.

If Apple adjusts their policy towards habitual application spammers (have you seen the Games section?), it would also solve the problem. But its easier to just target soft porn.

Re:Developers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31247342)

has anybody a copy of that one with goats yet?

case in point (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246798)

On the internet, you're never more than one click away from something horrible.

Hmmm.. "Read More..." *click*

Aww, crap.

Let the parodies begin (1)

fragmatic43 (1699440) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246818)

This one is filled with open source images and written in jQTouch so it doesn't need the App Store: http://www.wayner.org/node/69 [wayner.org]

37 comments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31246862)

Only 37 comments as yet??

Where are all ./ folks on such a delicate matter?

How about banning basic text editing: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31246872)

(.)(.)

Bullshit without consistancy (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246876)

I could understand this as a choice, although it is hard to do so when they have a very good rating system in place (which they have).

But what does not make any sense is doing this ban and exempting large companies like Playboy and Sports Illustrated. I mean, you CAN understand it but the action is indefensible.

Especially when you can get porn of any level via the browser, why ban these apps at all?

Over "perceived inconsistency"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31246896)

I don't see anyone truly upset over perceived inconsistencies in Apple's policies. Those screaming loudest are all about "censorship" and the end of democracy, or frustrated adolescent fantasies, etc, etc. The "besides, they still have _______, and that's inconsistent" argument is thrown in as a freebie, not as the main argument. It's an attempt at logic: if you can't be 100% consistent, then you're wrong to do anything in the first place. Uh huh.

I'm not sure whether those screaming loudest are living the Frat House Lifestyle (tm) or if Slashdot is allowing 6-year-olds ("THAT'S NOT F-A-I-R !!") to post.

Re:Over "perceived inconsistency"? (2, Insightful)

perlchild (582235) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247204)

They are inconsistent is that an approved app should stay approved until the app itself changes to make a reevaluation of its status necessary.

It's like if your local authority decided to revoke your driver's license while you're driving the car, and then fines you for driving without a license.

Isn't that the point? (2, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#31246980)

. It's sure a good thing for those worried parents that they don't have any kind of web browser on there. On the internet, you're never more than one click away from something horrible."

Well, yeah. That's kind of the point. The things they can't control, they're making no attempt to control. However, they *can* control the contents of the store - and so they do, in order to appeal to their largest customer base. Time will tell if it's the right move; but you can't cry censorship when you agree to purchase a device whose sole gateway to applications is what is officially sanctioned by that device's creator. You sign away the right to control your user experience when you agree that they have control via the appstore. If you don't like it, don't buy the device until they change it; or buy it and jailbreak it (but be aware of the consequences as well).

Apple is fully within their rights to decide they want the appstore to sell ONLY applications designed for people age 8 and under. You know it when you buy the device (and if you don't, isn't that your responsibility too? being educated about your purchases?). App developers agree to it when they obtain the license that allow them to develop for the devices. You always have the choice to go with a different product. (Such as blackberry... no restrictions on what you can install, tens of thousands of compatible j2me apps. They have an appworld that's growing daily, but you're not required to use it to install software. I believe Android fits this bill too? )

A company that is exercising the rights that its customers and developers willingly cede to it is not censorship.

Commence downmodding.

Wow 2 /. stories - Freedom vs. Control (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247006)

I'm amused by the juxtaposition of the last two slashdot stories.

Google has too much freedom in its Android software development efforts resulting in confusion and developers being upset.

Apple has too much control in its App store policy resulting in confusion and developers being upset.

Ok, the emotions are a little different in each case but you gotta admit, these two stories highlight the main difference (to developers at least) between the Google and Apple way of doing things!

The Playboy app is allowed to remain too! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31247082)

So they are removing apps of women in bikinis but leaving apps of fully naked women.

Phil Schiller says it is because Playboy is an established brand: http://www.macrumors.com/2010/02/23/phil-schiller-acknowledges-new-app-store-sexual-content-ban-and-exceptions/

So the real message here is that these images are only degrading if they come from a non-established brand. apparently established brands are less offensive.

I have an iPhone and love it, would never buy a porn app from it, and hate to see the App Store clogged with those apps, but this is not the answer. Create an Adults/Mature section, put the the apps like this in there, and be done with it.

root of the problem (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247128)

I think the real problem is not that you are forced to follow the rules to be on the apple store. Is that if, as a developer, you want to develop for the iPhone, you HAVE to use the apple store. Apple specifically, and (IANAL) dodgily makes you sign an agreement that says you cannot build your own appstore for iphone, even if it is for your own apps. Now if I had a lot of free time/money to throw at the problem, I'd try to challenge this on the basis of the local consumer laws, and(I'm in Quebec) with the language thing, I'm sure we could build a case for our own appstore, used only for apps meaningful here.

Seriously? (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247138)

Don't give you damned kids an iphone if you're worried about the content they may come across. Why, back in my day...

lets look at this reasonably (1)

musikit (716987) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247166)

there were a couple of developers that created
Woman With Few Cloths app and then copied it
Woman With Few Cloths 01012010
Woman With Few Cloths 01012011
Woman With Few Cloths 01012012
Woman With Few Cloths 01012013
etc.

so they always had the "new app" position.

plus these apps didnt have nude woman they had woman in suggestive positions wearing cloths. to get around the parental filtering.

Clicks to pron (1)

ChefInnocent (667809) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247196)

It's been a long while since I've played clicks to pron, is it now only 1 click from disney.com?

Apple's Mistake (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247210)

Apple's mistake was in failing to make the App Store restrictive ENOUGH. What they should have done (and what Google should be doing for Android) is build a two tier system. The lower tier is basically just hosting - anything goes. Set up a rating system and a popularity count, but don't bother with approving anything. The top tier should be a heavily restricted best-of-breed catalog built of submissions, highly rated and highly popular apps from the lower tier manually reviewed and copied over by Apple, and (because they can't help themselves) apps from their beloved corporate partners.

That scheme would have given them the flexibility to accept everything that makes an open computing platform great, while providing the quality filter that Apple allegedly builds its brand on. "Young Boobs" and the other 40 variants of image-viewer-app-with-embedded-image-catalog can go in the lower tier, get highly rated by 14 year old boys and heavily downloaded by men ages 9 to 90, and Apple needn't bother to consider it for promotion to the upper tier. Meanwhile quality, useful applications get promoted and get far greater visibility.

To sweeten the deal and actively encourage quality, give developers who get admitted to the upper tier a larger cut of the income, for those apps that charge money.

Too late now...

Well, shoot (1)

jspenguin1 (883588) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247220)

There goes my plan to port Custer's Revenge [wikipedia.org] to the iPhone.

Burqa? (5, Funny)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247228)

I love the quote from the CNN [cnn.com] article:

3. No skin (he seriously said this) (I asked if a Burqa was OK, and the Apple guy got angry)

Are you kidding (0, Flamebait)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247234)

Isn't it more degrading to women to have them viewed as massive bitch's because certain women feel the need to bitch about everything including the sun. My GF even agrees women get a bad rap because other women feel the need to complain when they could just go along with it. After all have you heard of men complaining that topless men are degrading, of course not, after all were rational.

Please... (4, Insightful)

Fishbulb (32296) | more than 3 years ago | (#31247236)

The only people up in arms are sleazy dudes out to make a quick buck off of someone else's boobies.

They've had their day and nothing of value has been lost.

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