‘Apple Has a Porn Problem, and It’s About to Get Worse’

Joshua Topolsky in a post on The Verge worth reading:

A cursory search of #porn and related hashtags within the Twitter iOS app unearths a cornucopia of adult material, yet Apple has taken no action in the case of that app. The existence of pornography on Twitter and in similar apps is also not a recent occurrence — Twitter in particular has long been used for such sharing. Yet Apple has made much out of its tight partnership with Twitter, adding native Twitter functionality into iOS as part of a recent update to the software.

The situation draws even more attention to the vague and sometimes confusing rules of Apple’s App Store guidelines, and more clearly showcases the sporadic and often unusual criteria the iPhone-maker uses to decide the fates of applications

I did the #porn search on Vine as well, don’t do that.1 I personally don’t think Apple should restrict pornography on the App Store, just allow users to set controls to block their kids from it if they so please, but a rule is a rule. I don’t like double standards — which is what Apple has here — and Apple needs to start enforcing rules equally.

There’s a fine line between pornography and art. One could argue that 500px’s app (banned from the App Store for pornography) was art and should be allowed the same as Flickr is allowed. This opens up the real problem that I see: is Apple’s policy anti-nudity, or anti-pornography?

From what I can tell, 500px is guilty of nudity, but not pornography. Whereas Vine is truly guilty of pornography, not just nudity (so too is Twitter, and all associated apps — have you seen how many porn stars are on Twitter posting pics and videos?).

This is going to be a tough call for Apple to make — which is why the rules are so odd right now — there is no easy call to make. Allowing pornography of any form is bound to make the devices viewed as less family friendly, but unequal enforcement of the rules will hurt the developer community.

If the rule becomes, flat out, no pornography. How do we reconcile apps like Instapaper, Pocket, Chrome, email, web browsers, that all users to easily seek out those types of content? I think we now know why the rules are so, erm, willy-nilly.


  1. Why? Lots of penises for one. 

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Article Details

Published
by Ben Brooks
2 minutes to read.


tl;dr

Joshua Topolsky in a post on The Verge worth reading: A cursory search of #porn and related hashtags within the Twitter iOS app unearths a cornucopia of adult material, yet Apple has taken no action in the case of that app. The existence of pornography on Twitter and in similar apps is also not a […]