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Apple to allow objectionable content with iPhone 3.0?

updated 08:55 pm EDT, Mon May 4, 2009

App Store rules to change?

Apple may be ready to loosen rules regarding objectionable content with the upcoming iPhone OS 3.0. The company recently rejected Newspapers, an app developed by Makayama, for containing objectionable content, according to iLounge. The app provides access to a variety of content from other publishers such as the New York Times and Frankfurter Algemeine.

The offensive material was contained in the Page 3 section of The Sun which includes images of topless women. Although the content was accessed from a third-party source, and not directly from Newspapers, the app initially did not make it through the approval process.

Apple provided a suggestion in the rejection message that indicates possible changes to its future policies. Because the upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 will contain parental controls, the company explained to the developer that it "would be appropriate to resubmit your application for review once this feature is available." Makayama removed The Sun from its listings, however, and successfully resubmitted the app instead of waiting for OS 3.0.

The company has previously been criticized for rejecting apps that provide content from the Internet. Even though a user could presumably access Page 3 from Safari without any problem, an app that accesses the same information is deemed offensive. A Tweetie update was rejected because of offensive words in search results, although Apple quickly reversed its decision amid strong criticism.

A Nine Inch Nails app was recently rejected, also due to objectionable content. Apple did not detail which content was considered offensive, although Trent Reznor noted that a streaming podcast accesses the title song for Downward Spiral which contains swearing. Ironically, Apple profits from sales of the track via iTunes downloads.

Apple has yet to formally announce any changes to the App Store approval process. It remains unknown if submissions such as the Nine Inch Nails app will be reconsidered after parental controls become available.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    American View

    To be frank it is getting tiring when the conservative American view of what is objectionable and what isn't is forced onto the rest of the world. Topless women is hardly considered risque in Europe and the fact that it is considered as such in the US is frankly irrelevant to me. It's about time Apple stopped forcing America's moral values on the rest of us - this is just a case of Cultural Imperialism that has no place in the 21st Century.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    @rytc

    I hear you, rytc. The fact is, North America does have a huge stick up its rear about such things and apparently there's no way to offer an app to Europeans but not Americans and Canadians.

    Like it or not, North America is a huge market,it's Apple's home market, and I think the reasoning is that it would damage the iPhone/iPod Touch's brand to have it become known as an 'iPorn' device. Sales to teens are important because they become future Apple computer buyers, and there is no end of organizations filled with busybodies who have nothing better to do with their time than make a huge fuss in the media over naked b******. Look at that whole Janet Jackson/Super Bowl (ridiculous) controversy. I'm sure Apple doesn't want to be caught up in something like that.

    Hopefully the parental controls will enable Apple to offer explicit apps. If you want to blame anybody, blame the many prudes in the US who would raise a fuss.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Re: @rytc

    There is nothing special about the iPhone/iPod that, right now, doesn't make it a killer iPorn device. Just because Apple keeps 'objectionable' content off of it in no way keeps people from using the web browser to search sites, nor to upload their own movies and pictures.

    Ergo, saying "Oh, we can't have an app that could show a woman's b****!" is trying to keep p*** off of it is ridiculous.

    People want p***, so much that they'll find ways to get it on everything. It drives the tech industry.

  1. mmurray

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    different apple stores

    "The fact is, North America does have a huge stick up its rear about such things and apparently there's no way to offer an app to Europeans but not Americans and Canadians."

    They can put things like the Kindle app on the US store but not the Australia store so why not the reverse ?

    Michael

  1. jvputten

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Thanks, Steve!

    Thank God Steve Jobs is there to preserve my right not to be offended by anything that I may find objectionable in my life. I certainly don't want to be exposed to ideas that might make me reconsider my closely-held values and beliefs.

  1. jvputten

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Thanks, Steve!

    Thank God Steve Jobs is there to preserve my right not to be offended by anything that I may find objectionable in my life. I certainly don't want to be exposed to ideas that might make me reconsider my closely-held values and beliefs.

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