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Censorship Iphone Apple Your Rights Online

Apple Bans Sexy Apps, Developers Upset 492

Posted by Soulskill
from the always-seems-to-matter-when-dollars-are-at-stake dept.
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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Apple Bans Sexy Apps, Developers Upset

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  • Free boobs. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DarthVain (724186) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @01:30PM (#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!

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @01:31PM (#31246596) Homepage
    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."
  • What is obscene? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @01:32PM (#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.

  • by bheer (633842) <rbheer@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @01:33PM (#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.

  • by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @01:53PM (#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.

  • Point taken (Score:3, Interesting)

    by copponex (13876) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:25PM (#31247548) Homepage

    Alright, technically it is censorship. The literal definition of censorship is preventing access to information, but in this case, Apple is censoring information on Apple devices from the Apple Store, after you agreed in the EULA that you would allow them to do that. So, you should call it mutually agreed-to censorship, which is the same as walking in to an R rated movie that used to have NC-17 scenes that were cut out of it.

    And the analogy still holds true - Apple isn't the only place in the universe that has electronic T&A. If it were, then I would consider it meaningful censorship. For censorship to matter, the information should be important, unique, and purposefully repressed. This case hardly satisfies those parameters.

  • by Dr. Evil (3501) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:47PM (#31247916)

    All that most people know about feminism comes from corporate press statements and talk radio.

    Feminism would do well to distance itself from the name.

    I find it odd that people would think this degrading to women. The very nature of the app is to exploit male sexuality for profit. They're the ones paying for it. The women are being paid and making their decisions freely. Autonomy applies too to men though and I feel that men should be able to make the decision themselves about whether or not they want to purchase the app.

    It's disgusting to me that "feminism" as seen in popular media feels it necessary to degrade men by repeating the message that their natural desires are somehow destructive or deviant towards women.

    By censoring this kind of app, young boys are learning that mainstream society cannot cope with male sexuality, or that their natural urges are deviant.

  • by Nadaka (224565) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:47PM (#31247922)

    I am an American Patriot. I am a conservative. I am a liberal. These are not contradictions. I love America, our constitution and the values on which this nation was founded. "OMG! Boobies are the devil! Think of the children!" was not one of those values.

    Those are not American Conservatives.They may be: Regressives. Destroyers of the constitution. Fascists. Theocrats. Enemies of the people.

  • great story (Score:5, Interesting)

    by quantumplacet (1195335) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:47PM (#31247930)

    but you're wrong. when vhs and beta came out, beta supported 250 lines of resolution vs vhs' 240, and the heavy luma/chroma 'bleed' in vhs made the picture look noticeably worse. eventually vhs upped to 250 lines of resolution, and incidently beta actually downgraded to 240 lines of resolution in order to fit 2 hours onto a tape. however, the misconception about betamax picture quality is often attributed to people who've seen superbeta tapes, which weren't introduced until 1985 when the format war was already over. however, at 290 lines of resolution these tapes were/are significantly clearer than vhs. as for porn, yes there was beta porn, but it came much later than vhs porn and was significantly harder to come by, and this was because sony initially tried to block it from the platform completely. so while the common stories told about the format war aren't fully accurate, calling them 'false urban legends' is well, a false internet legend.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @03:17PM (#31248408) Homepage Journal
    Well, its not like you can't put pr0n on your iPod touch, iPhone or even the iPad when you get it!!

    Just put your still photos on the phone via iTunes....or rip your pr0n dvd's with Handbrake..and put them on the device via iTunes. YOu don't have to use the app store for ALL your content.

    Hell, I've never actually bought anything off iTunes...I have my own audio and video content. I've only used the store for free podcasts...and the free apps for the iPhone. Other than that..who needs the store?

    Put what you want on there..nothing is stopping you.

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @03:23PM (#31248518)

    And what part of my disagreement to that declaration didn't you understand?

    Apple made a choice. They're the ones responsible for their image and marketing. They're the ones that drew a line-- and we can agree that they should have done this earlier. Their market share is huge, and they're the pioneers in app delivery to smartphones. Did they screw up? Yup. Should they have made these decisions long ago? Yes. Their app store is a work in progress. NO ONE has their success here. They had to bite a bullet and they did it. Was the line drawn fairly? Probably not, but I applaud the stance they took, even come-lately.

    I'm not sure if they could have done what they've done by limiting adult-focused apps this late in the game. Maybe they're scared of the Chinese Censorship Factor. Maybe they're worried about being restricted in other jurisdictions. I don't know. But the limitation is ok with me, as a consumer. If I were an application vendor that was just cut off, I might feel injured and in need of burning money on an attorney. But I'm not.

  • Re:Please... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @03:26PM (#31248604)

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

    It may surprise you to know that there are female app devs trying to make a quick buck off their own boobies.

  • by mattsday (909414) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @03:46PM (#31249046)
    or apple could put in a quick checkbox "I want to see adult content" that you're presented with somewhere. Default it to off even, but give people the damned choice.
  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @03:50PM (#31249122) Journal
    I think that there was some whining about how The Children could still see the names and screenshots of the corrupting smut that threatens their young souls, even if their devices are set up to forbid them from buying and installing said smut.

    Of course, that would seem to suggest that they should just make a little change to how the app store works(i.e. don't display anything you don't have permission to install) instead of playing Taliban morality police with the developers they don't think are big enough to matter(while overlooking playboy and sports illustrated)...

    I question the sanity of anybody who downloads single-purpose porn programs on a device that comes preloaded with a general purpose porn program(these are known in polite company, of course, as "web browsers"); but that doesn't make mass-banning without warning, after months of toleration, and with the exception of big publishers, any less of a dick move.

    Worse, in a way, is that it isn't a terribly "apple-like" dick move, in the classic sense of what makes Apple interesting. Apple, under Jobs, has always been willing to throw technologies (and indirectly products and companies) under the bus if they think that it will allow them to do something cooler and better and shinier in the future. Dropping 64-bit Carbon, for instance, was classic Jobs. Who cares if Adobe and the MS MacBU will be very sad pandas, Steve has decided that carbon is old and busted and cocoa is the new hotness, everybody will just have to live with it. This, on the other hand, has 100% of the dickishness; but, by making exceptions for major publishers, is far more craven; and, since it is basically being done instead of improving the existing app ratings system, has none of the "in service of greater technical goodness" factor.

    It's just dickish and lazy. Apple is supposed to be dickish and driven.
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @04:45PM (#31250000) Homepage Journal
    "There are in Miami and near Madison Wisconsin"

    Wisconsin?!?!? How do you have a beach in Wisconsin...? My geography isn't very good, but there isn't an ocean I know of within miles of there is there?

    Also...being that far north...it actually gets warm enough up there to have chicks sit out in bikinis? Just curious...I've never been up around that area before.

  • by einhverfr (238914) <chris.travers@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @04:51PM (#31250106) Homepage Journal

    You know, something like a third of web-site porn consumers these days are women, and women are the fastest growing demographic of porn consumers. This is why the market should decide.

    If you haven't read this book [amazon.com] yet you should.

    (True not all porn is created equal. There is some really interesting porn films out there which have received raving reviews in magazines like "Women's Health" and "Oprah Magazine.")

  • Remember Betamax? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by drkim (1559875) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @05:00AM (#31256942)
    Isn't this one of the factors that killed off Sony Betamax format (against VHS)?

    There were other issues too, like record time and price-point, but Sony refused to allow pr0n on Betamax and it became a huge market on VHS.

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