I’m worried about Apple’s stance that their ecosystems must be pure and free from debauchery, remaining family friendly at all times. Or to put it another way, free from pornography and swearing.This isn’t a straightforward thing, and it’s not clear what is good or bad for society as a whole, though I would argue that Apple’s approach of random censorship is more bad than good. And at best, absurdly hypocritical.
Apple’s Current Stance and what we know as why
Generally speaking, iOS users today are restricted as follows:
- no pornography based apps
- sexual ‘wellness’ apps are fine, but hindered in what they show. For example: you could get away with depictions by way of illustration, but not out right photography of them.
- there amazingly does exist a plethora of ‘sexy’ games, but most seem to be benign truth or dare style text based games.
- iOS autocorrect will not allow you to swear easily, you have to jump through many hoops.
- any app that allows easy access to adult content, porn, is likely not to survive long, if at all. Unless it’s very popular.
We know about the why for some of this:
It’s all what you would expect. There’s too great a risk for unintended consequences with autocorrect working with curse words, and Apple generally feels pornography is a slippery slope which is not manageable for them. Which is fair, until you realize the complete shit that makes it into the App Store already then your like, wut.
But these two rather simple decisions have quite a ripple effect on our lives as a whole.
There’s something innocuous feeling in Apple’s refusals to acknowledge curse words. At first glance this seems rather obvious, it would be too easy for a kid talking about a duck, to send a message that says fuck. I am going to go out on a limb and say that a machine learning based autocorrect system will quickly learn that fuck is far more common than people talking about ducks. Which is perhaps why it is so ducking annoying that iOS doesn’t make cursing easy.
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