Yesterday we brought you a story all about how Apple is inadvertenly censoring rappers and their profane lyrics, but it looks like Cupertino isn’t happy with just ruining rap music… they also want to make sure your Newsstand magazines don’t talk about penises, even in a clinical, scientific sense.
Muy Interesante, a scientific magazine that publishes digital versions of their mag on Apple’s Newsstand app, recently submitted a magazine cover carrying an article titled “Myths and Truths About the Penis.” The magazine is rated for ages 12 years old and older, but Apple’s power welding content managers claimed the magazine is inappropriate for its age rating. This ban came despite the fact that Apple approves other 12 and up magazines, such as Cosmopolitan, that have titles such as “Bad Girl Sex,” “His 6 Secret Sex Spots” or “Sex Moves Men Crave.”
When Muy Interestante submitted their magazine cover for approval they received the following rejection notice from Apple:
“We have completed the revision of your attachments but we can’t publish them in the App Store because its category [“12 years old or up”] doesn’t correspond with its content. It doesn’t comply with the App Store’s guidelines:
3.8. Developers are responsible to assign a category for their apps. Apple can change inappropriate categories.
Since your application contains suggestive adult themes, this should be reflected in your category.”
Apparently Apple thinks Cosmopolitan’s sex articles are not “suggestive adult themes” but providing readers with scientific information about male genitalia is off limits. It’s total bullshit for Apple to say it’s fine for one magazine to talk about sex while also telling a scientific magazine they can’t mention the body parts that are used in the act of doing the deed: you know, fingers, mouths, penises, etc.
Yes, we know that penises aren’t the most pleasant of conversational topics in the world. They’re ugly, awkward flesh appendages that are better left unseen than out in the open, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth talking about. If Muy Interesant wants to tell men all about how to do a self-test for testicular cancer or how to avoid the clap, then that’s information that should be promoted rather than censored, even if Apple is uncomfortable talking about their winkies.
In some ways I appreciate Apple’s attempts to keep pornography off of my iPad. The last thing I want is a big porn pop-up of some busty lady appearing out of nowhere while I’m playing games with my niece on my iPad. At the same time, attempting to censor the world is going to result in some imbalances and collateral damage because the ones doing the censoring are imperfect humans. Apple shouldn’t ban one magazine for something far less smutty than what they approve in another magazine, and we think they need to restructure how they approve some content while banning others before they mutate into a Big Brother type of entity that starts banning the opinions of other and frustrating the efforts of freedom of the press and free-speech.
As Mark Twain once said, “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.”
We would like our penis articles back in our magazines please Apple, even if you’re too uncomfortable to talk about em.