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Apple Shields Our Eyes From Bikinis


Hypocritical new rules turn App Store into 17th-Century New England.

Apple responded to TechCrunch after the story ran:

Whenever we receive customer complaints about objectionable content we review them. If we find apps that contain inappropriate material we remove them from the App Store and request the developer to make any necessary changes to their apps in order to be distributed by Apple.

By that rationale, every app is subject to further review by the App Store if any prude sends off an angry missive. So anyone who's designing an app that shows Elvis dancing from waist down, well, it's best if you just crop the video.

But Atherton brings up an interesting point: The Playboy App (PLA) is still in the store. Surely, that will be short lived. It, along with any other magazine app featuring a scantily clad person on the cover, will undoubtedly be removed quite soon. If Michael Phelps in his Speedo didn't bring down the Sports Illustrated (TWX) app, the Swimsuit Issue alone would annihilate it. There's no way those apps could possibly be safe under Apple's new rules. No way.

Of course, any TV show that includes a woman in her bra or a guy wrapped in a towel -- definitive rule-breakers -- is going to get axed from the video section, too. Any film that has swearing or, God forbid, a sex scene will soon be gone. If it applies to one part of the App Store, why not the other?

I mean, the folks at Apple would be completely and utterly hypocritical if they didn't ban those, too. Right?

Well, they won't. And saying they're unabashed hypocrites is stating the obvious.

This is a company that banned an e-reader app because it allowed users to load up the Kama Sutra. Hey Apple, how's that new iBooks app for the iPad working for you?

This is a company that approved an embarrassing number of fart apps but will outright reject any app which has the word "boobs."

This is a company that told Atherton to remove a woman's silhouette from his app but will, with a minimal amount of clicks, display an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians entitled "I Want Your Sex" or an icon of a topless woman from the side for the show Caprica.

And pointing out the media's double standards over sex vs. violence has long been exhausted, but come on, Apple. Crank 2: High Voltage? You have no problem with that but a swimsuit is forbidden?

Clearly, Apple's position on mature content is highly mercurial depending on the source. A meager developer making a couple grand a year? Ban the app. A multi-billion dollar studio with heavy ties to the company? It's all good.

Yes, it's Apple's store and it can do what it wants. However, for the company to have the gall to not only ban barely objectionable material from the App Store, but also allow more controversial content elsewhere, it is the very definition of hypocritical.

So shield your eyes, iPhone users. Not from the swimsuits. The fire from the witch burning can cause a pretty nasty glare in Apple's buckled hat.

No positions in stocks mentioned.
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