If Apple Were Serious: Censorship

Some of the content in this post is NSFW – ie screenshots from the iPhone Youtube App

If Apple were serious about the safety of their younger customers and parental control they would do the following:

1. Allow removal of default icons on the iPod Touch and iPhone
2. Properly introduce the ratings system so that 17+ Apps do not display in results if the user is <17.
3. Allow parental controls to be set for each device and password protect this.

But they wont, they’re on a slippery slope, along with everybody else who has attempted to be a censor and arbiter of taste.

I’ll elaborate…

I am a parent of 3 children, and they all have iPod touches, I am far less concerned about them browsing the Appstore than browsing the web on their device.

None of the Apps that were deleted over the weekend had ANYTHING in their preview pages or screenshots that kids wouldn’t see at a beach (at least a beach in Australia; neck to knee swim costumes for women  went out in the 20’s). Apple had already vetted these Apps and prevented the display of anything dubious. To be honest most kids below about 14 simply aren’t interested in that stuff anyway – they are looking for free games.

What is more, all of the iPods in this house are setup under the one account, and it’s my Apple account – so they have to come to me to install anything, I put the password in and they go away happy with their new stickwars game or whatever.

HOWEVER… we have wifi, they therefore the kids have web access – there is no way for me to control what they see on the web, because the default Browser has no parental controls – don’t get me wrong – I don’t think it should have!! BUT as a parent, I should be able to delete the existing browser and add a different browser – like this one.

Likewise, I should be able to delete Youtube, here are some videos available on Youtube.
Web results for pussy on left, iphone results after watching one NSFW video and tapping more videos – frankly I’m a little surprised, I hadn’t looked on Youtube before now!

So the brouhaha about censorship of the Appstore is really the tip of the iceberg, there are people out there that now think the iPod and iPhone have been declared safe. It was a token kneejerk gesture.

Youtube search for pussy      photo

8 thoughts on “If Apple Were Serious: Censorship”

  1. Well you couldn’t put it any better as there rating system needs a major overhaul & as on Christmas day I was setting up a ipod for a friends ~13yr old & in the search results the for free stuff there was an app that kind of shocked me & even if you set the restrictions to the G rating it still showed in the results very poor form if you ask me from a company like apple.

    Plus I was getting sick of all the pointless babe/booty crap apps that where in the RSS feeds I watch.

  2. Yes, Ive always been a little bit flummoxed by the rating system – I mean if the user isn’t allowed to buy it – why display it to the user?!

  3. Are you sure the preview screenshots are child safe? Take a look at the playboy app screen shots. Image 3 is almost a full butt shot. Image 4 has under boob. Are those appropriate for our children?

    Some apps are above the law I guess.

  4. not sure what you mean – we don’t produce the playboy app – the point of that post was that Apple still allow that app, whilst they have blocked ours – which is called wobble.

  5. Seriously this is an insult to the costumer! Kids should not be able to buy any app! Besides if it was such a huge issue, why not censor youtube nude videos for “everyone” to watch. No one seems to have a problem there. Go figure…

  6. Mate, I know how you feel. The Apple ratings system is ridiculous. I had an App that was rejected twice before Xmas that contained sexual humour but no nudity, obscene words, or anything that would be out of place in a 15 film. Five weeks development time down the pan. I hate to think how many development hours have been wasted over this fiasco and its basically Apple’s fault for being totally unclear and inconsistent as to what they consider ‘obscene’.

    The fact that they’re allowing this type of content from established brands is even more bemusing and completely hypocritical. They should either follow established censorship guidelines drawn up by experts (e.g. the BBFC or US equivalent) or leave it to parents / individuals.

    Plus – you can buy films and music with 18+ content on iTunes and they don’t have a problem with that. Their whole policy is completely confused and I think I’m backing out of iPhone development until they sort it out.

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