Apple has been all over the news lately with their recent crackdown on any application serving pornography to users. The popular photograph sharing service 500px was no exception.
The app was recently removed from the app store because Apple became aware that users could potentially use the app to search for and view pornographic material. They removed the app, but 500px updated their search availability and rating and the app soon returned to the store. Keep in mind, this application is not INTENDED to be used for pornography. It has actually gained quite the following among professional photographers who think it is a great way of sharing their work. IT IS A TOOL FOR PROFESSIONAL (and amateur) PHOTOGRAPHERS!
Similarly, the Twitter App, Vine, was accused of letting viewers look at adult content. Instead of being pulled from the store altogether like 500px, it was just removed from the “Editors choice” list.
Apple has a really annoying policy with pornography in apps. They will attack any application that could be thought of to be used for pornography, unless the app is one from a large partner.
What does that mean? Well technically Google Chrome could be used to view and download pornography. It’s very easy. Chrome has an adult rating on the app store. Want to hear something funny though? Safari is ALSO a web browser. It has the same functionality as Chrome. Yet, it comes pre-installed with every iPhone without ANY WARNING or rating saying that it could be pornographic.
So Apple’s porn policy ends up looking like the following: zero tolerance crackdown of 3rd party apps, minor punishment of large partners, and blissful ignorance of their own shortcomings.
Give me a break. If people want to look at adult content on their phones, they will find a way. These supposedly purist views on the subject are just embarrassing, and a major hassle for applications that people manage to misuse.
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January 29, 2016
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