Apple App Store fooled by racier images

June 30, 2009

Apple App Store fooled by racier imagesSeveral apps from one developer have been expunged from the Apple App Store because some of them displayed photos of the unclothed anatomy, both male and female, in violation of Apple policy.

The developer, Allan Leung, has claimed that his content got racier than it was when he submitted his apps because his servers were busy. That doesn’t even make any sense. But a couple of those apps, Hottest Girls and Hottest Guys, were obviously soft porn from the beginning. Apple has had a nearly impossible time, it seems, making even the simplest decisions about the suitability of apps. Censorship is never easy, but it should not be this hard either.

Now that Apple has decided to take action against Leung, all of his apps (even those without much of a sexual component) have been removed from the store, according to an article by PC World. Here is what apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr said in response to questions:

Apple will not distribute applications that contain inappropriate content. The developer of this application added inappropriate content directly from their server after the application had been approved and distributed, and after the developer had subsequently been asked to remove some offensive content. This was a direct violation of the terms of the iPhone Developer Program. The application is no longer available on the App Store.

That policy sounds pretty clear to me. Whether anyone agrees with it is not the point. All that matters is that Apple enforce the policy they have. If they don’t want apps with sexually oriented images of human beings, which Leungs two “œhottest” apps have always had, then don’t approve them. This is not rocket science.

And while you’re at it, use some common sense. Don’t approve games where you need to shake a baby to death to win. Don’t approve apps where anyone can be Jesus or Mohammed if you don’t want to annoy the strict adherents of he various religions of the world. And don’t approve apps that feature girls in bikinis if you don’t want to sell sex.

Steve Jobs is apparently back at his desk at Apple today. You folks down in the App Approval Department had better shape up. You don’t want Steve to have to take over close control of the approval of apps on his first day back on the job.  Among other things, Mr. Jobs is not going to be thrilled by looking silly, and that is what these app approval snafus are doing.

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