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Jobs defends App Store: it's "freedom from porn"

updated 10:35 pm EDT, Sat May 15, 2010

Jobs explains views in heated mail exchange

Apple chief Steve Jobs engaged in a rare involved debate late last evening where he defended his company's policies for the App Store. When criticized by blogger Ryan Tate for turning his back on "freedom" and "revolution," the company co-founder countered that the limits on sexual content and the approval process itself were about providing an ideal, safe experience. The real revolution was in breaking away from the traditional computing experience, Jobs answered.

"Yep, [it's] freedom from programs that steal your private data," he said. "Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom. The times they are a changin', and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is."

Having children influenced his stance on porn, he added.

Simultaneously, he shot back at complaints about bans on cross-platform development tools like Flash. Where Tate argued that the Wired magazine app would have been more innovative by allowing the publisher to write once for many, Jobs responded that the app should be better written using native tools and that the real goal was simply to "do the right thing for [Apple's] users." He made it clear that Apple wasn't exerting pressure on developers to write for the iPhone or iPad and that they could simply opt for Android or other platforms if they didn't like any perceived limits.

"Users, developers and publishers can do whatever they like - they don't have to buy or develop or publish on iPads if they don't want to," Jobs said. "As for us, we're just doing what we can to try and make (and preserve) the user experience we envision. You can disagree with us, but our motives are pure."

The statements have followed after many have criticized Apple for a constantly changing attitude to what content's allowed on its store, including the removal of apps that were previously allowed and for not acting on its approach to third-party developer tools until iPhone 4.0. Some critics, particularly Adobe, have accused Apple of denying choice and trying to stifle competition. Jobs' exchange doesn't eliminate the competitive issues but reinforces his official stance that any effects on availability and cross-platform development are unintentional.

The full conversation is available below (caution: some may find Tate's language offensive).

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    People seem so upset with Steve Jobs

    because he doesn't want p*** in the App Store. Some were saying that p*** isn't going to harm children if they see it. Maybe not, but I've really never heard of schools and churches pushing p***. It's usually never found on national TV and most department stores don't sell it. I've heard that Apple should somehow exert controls over the App Store so children can't access p*** or something to that effect. I just think Steve Jobs is playing it safe by giving the App Store a clean reputation. I certainly approve of p***, but if Steve Jobs is putting his own morality into his store, then that's his choice. Ryan Tate can always go to another platform, so I'm not sure what his beef is.

    If I had a mom and pop store, I probably wouldn't sell p***. I know some small local bodegas do sell DVDs but I never asked if they kept the p*** in back. I grew up in an era when p*** was always something that was kept from children, but maybe things are changing. I do think if parents took time to explain that stuff to children in their early teens, I guess it wouldn't do any harm but that's just my personal opinion and I don't have children.

    I find it amazing that Steve Jobs "wastes" his time trying to explain why he does the things he does. Once people's minds are made up, I think it's very hard to change them. This Ryan Tate has his own views and when he creates his own App Store he may run it the way he feels. But he shouldn't tell Steve Jobs how to run his own business and criticize him for it. There's a lot at stake and as an investor I'll trust Steve Jobs decision on this "no p***" issue.

  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who TF is Ryan Tate?

    "I write for Gawker, live in Berkeley and perpetually wish I was in France." So, go move to France!

    This all seems like a made up, wet dream Ryan had with himself. I can't imagine Jobs bothering to go on and on with a sophomoric rant like this... just sayin'.

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Round 1 - Steve Jobs

    Ryan Tate... Since you love your p*** so much, go f*** yourself.

  1. facebook_Dustin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2010



    Uncle Steve sure pwnd him!

    Steve -
    "By the way, what have you done that's so great? Do you create anything, or just criticize others work and belittle their motivations?"

    Ryan -
    *no response*

    Arguing with the CEO of one of the growing forces in the computing world isn't smart as this thread of emails proves.

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Their definition of Freedom

    Steve has to speak because Adobe-butt-kissing bloggers and Ryan Tate are giving Apple a bad press. If you look deep into these people (including Adobe), they just want $$$$ share that iPhone is making but they couldn't. The freedom they speak is just a cover up for their greed. Sad that "Freedom" is being falsely represented so many times here and there. These people start to blur between freedom and morality... and when you start throwing dollar signs in the mix, oh boy, trouble comes.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. sixcolors

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I highly doubt it

    Yeah Steve Jobs suddenly lost his mind and posted on this losers blog.

  1. minimansion

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Disney, Nickelodeon, BMW, Mercedes...

    A company has the right to set it's own bar for excellence and performance and should not have to offer or sell products or services that do not meet the internal guidelines or the type of environment that the company wants to project.

    Nobody tells any of the companies above what type of shows they must program or that they have to offer a certain type of product just because everybody else is doing it.

    It's called "quality"

    If you want, Disney, go to Disney, If you want Playboy, then turn on "that" channel. Don't try to make DIsney offer it on theirs!

    Apple is not doing anything to stop anybody from using any other product or service that they want to. How soon some people forget that the whole smartphone industry was lost until Apple showed them how to really do it!

    If you are that upset, then start your own smartphone company or just go and program for the others. Nobody is stopping you. I personally prefer what Apple is doing and I think millions of people agree if the iPhone sales are any indicator.

    Let's get real... Apple is doing amazingly well and they are only offered by one carrier in the USA. I actually left Verizon and switched to AT&T even though I think Verizon's cell service is stronger because Apple made a better phone product.

  1. legacyb4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No better way

    to lose your credibility than to start slinging around the f-bomb when talking to one of the smarter CEOs who seems to understand the way the world works a h*** of a lot better than a guy who wants to surf p***...

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Immature & rude

    SJ is communicating so that he can show by example that these loud obnoxious overbearing fear mongering bloggers are complete immature tools crying like little babies to get their way. Now the public can clearly see the level of stupidity from some of these bloggers.

  1. chas_m



    Fair and balanced

    I thought Ryan made his arguments a little saltily (is that a word) but brought up every serious objection he had.

    And then Steve calmly and logically shot each and every one of them down.

    Now, I'm pro-Apple, but if Steve hadn't made the case I'd be on Ryan's side in a second. Problem is, Steve DID make the case. Very simply, very firmly.

    And while Steve didn't swear, I think his last post said "f you" more eloquently than Mr Tate could possibly imagine.

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