Less than a week after Reddit finally debuted its own official Reddit app for iOS, Apple has started cracking down on popular third-party Reddit clients in the App Store.
The reason? No, apparently it’s not got anything to do with Reddit pulling some strings over at Cupertino — although the timing sure makes it appear a bit suspect. Instead, it’s reportedly got everything to do with the fact that the apps allow users to access naughty pictures and other material.
The confusion led to the disappearance of popular apps including Narwhal, Baconreader, iAlien, and Antenna.
Narwhal developer Rick Harrison told Gizmodo that: “[W]e received notice that our new update with a lot of great new features was rejected under the App Store rule 18.2: ‘Your app contains a mechanism to enable or disable Not Safe For Work (NSFW) content, including pornographic content. Apps with sexually explicit content are not appropriate for the App Store.’ About 15 minutes afterwards, we received notice that the current version of our app has been removed from the [App Store.]”
Harrison said he contacted Reddit which denied that it had requested Apple to take down third-party apps, and said that they too had received notifications from Apple about NSFW content.
At time of writing, it seems that the apps are back in the App Store, so it seems that whatever problem there was has been solved — at least temporarily.
This isn’t the first time Apple’s App Store censorship has been a subject of controversy, though. With no hard-and-fast rules that govern exactly what is and isn’t permissible (Apple subscribes to the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart view of obscenity that it’ll “know it when [it] sees it“), the company and its developers run into these problems periodically.
As Steve Jobs once said, “Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone.”
Or use Safari, of course.