Apple’s App Store has been included in a list of websites and app stores that have been investigated for providing pornographic content in China. The list, published by state-owned newspaper People’s Daily, comes just a month after a government regulator named the App Store as a source of “obscene pornography,” despite Apple’s strict policy against pornographic apps.
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You’ve probably seen quite a few headlines today about Twitter’s new Vine iPhone app displaying pornography. Vine went live in the App Store last week, and the video sharing service has garnered quite a bit of attention due to its parent company, Twitter.
Vine was made an Editors’ Choice by Apple in the App Store, but the app has been de-promoted following all the porn hubbub. Apple has yet to give an official comment on the issue or pull Vine from the App Store completely.
What does all this mean for Vine, and more importantly, the App Store’s policies on porn?
Rhombi, triangles, and rectangles probably don’t elicit a sexual response from you most times, but Apple thinks those beautiful shapes can be a little bit too orgasmic when combined in different configurations. Artist Luciano Foglia’s app of geometric shapes was recently rejected by Apple because they claimed it contained “excessively objectionable or crude content.” But it’s just a bunch of geometric shapes, so why did Apple label it as pornographic? Take a look and judge for yourself:
A special education teacher from Lincoln High School in Stockton, California, is currently on paid leave after she set up a pornographic website business on a MacBook issued to her by the school. Heidi Kaeslin was suspended when school officials discovered her moneymaking scheme, and she is now under investigation.
It’s hard to think of a more forward thinking bunch of visionaries than the true pioneers of the fastly changing frontiers of technology: hard core pornographers.
Time after time — Betamax, VHS, Laser Discs, DVD, Blu-Ray and the Internet — pornographers are the first to embrace new technology, hoping to add yet another sales channel to their already rich smut peddling arrays. Compare pornographers to industries like the RIAA or MPAA, who are hopeless to embrace new technology that might threaten their old, stagnating business models, and it’s really hard not to think pornographers are one of the few media entities out there who really get tech.
Needless to say, porn would like a piece of the App Store, but Apple’s prudish policies aren’t having any of that. But pornographers are nothing if not ingenious, and a group of them have now launched the Sex App Shop, which the press release heralds as “the world’s first legal alternative to [the App Store],” featuring a wide range of adult content from major labels like Playboy, Vivid, VCA, Wicked Pictures and New Sensation. Apps costs $0.99, and yearly memberships with unlimited downloads is available for $99.
The newer, faster iPhone 3G, set for release on July 11, promises to chart new frontiers in mobile pornography, according to Time magazine.
The $13 billion adult entertainment industry sees the new Apple phone as a key in the shift from physical distribution (IE. DVDs) to a business model based on downloaded and streaming smut.
The iPhone is “by far the porn-friendliest phone” on the market, says Devan Cypher, spokesman for San Francisco-based porn producer Sin City Entertainment.
The porn industry may have problems with Apple, however. An Apple spokeswoman told Time it does not condone porn on the iPhone and promises to ban adult content from applications being built by third party developers for distribution by the company’s AppStore.