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June 25, 2009

Apple rejects soft-core porn iPhone app

Posted: 12:59 PM ET

False alarm: Apple is not - at least not yet - approving iPhone apps containing pictures of naked women.

The blogosphere lit up Thursday with reports that Hottest Girls had the distinguished privilege of being the first application approved for sale in the iTunes App Store that contains nudity. The Hottest Girls iPhone app is not new, but as of Thursday, it added photos of topless women to its gallery of "2200+ sexy bikini babes and lingerie models."

Of course, porn has long been accessible on the iPhone through its Internet browser, but this appeared to mark the first time Apple has sanctioned images of naked women for the popular device.

An image from the 'Hottest Girls' application for sale in the iTunes App Store.

An image from the 'Hottest Girls' application for sale in the iTunes App Store.

Some speculated the "change" in Apple's porn policy was a result of expanded parental controls in the new iPhone 3.0 OS software.  Age restrictions can now be set to prevent mature downloads from the App Store.

According to a Gizmodo article that seemed oddly excited by this news:

This is not just an application that downloads softcore content from the Web, bypassing Apple's censorship. There is no censorship here, as this is truly an Apple approved app "rated 17+" for "frequent/intense sexual content or nudity" and "frequent/intense mature/suggestive theme."

The editors at Wired.com took the Hottest Girls app for a test drive and were underwhelmed. "The application itself is terrible," wrote Wired's tester, "but you can be sure that there will be more, and better, very soon."

Shortly afterwards, the Hottest Girls app, which claims to be the first officially sanctioned iTunes app to contain topless photos, disappeared from the iTunes store.

A website allegedly run by Hottest Girls app developers explained the disappearance:

The Hottest Girls app is temporarily sold out. The server usage is extremely high because of the popularity of this app. Thus, by not distributing the app, we can prevent our servers from crashing. Those who already have the app will still be able to use our app. To answer the question on everyone's mind: Yes, the topless images will still be there when it is sold again.

By Thursday afternoon, Apple's public relations team felt the need to weigh in. From Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr:

Apple will not distribute applications that contain inappropriate content, such as pornography. The developer of this application added inappropriate content directly from their server after the application had been approved and distributed, and after the developer had subsequently been asked to remove some offensive content. This was a direct violation of the terms of the iPhone Developer Program. The application is no longer available on the App Store.

Did Apple do the right thing? Is the fuss over this episode just silly? And, given how lucrative the pornography industry is, is it just a matter of time before nudie pics become available through the App Store?

Posted by:
Filed under: Apple • Internet • iPhone • online video • technology


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James in Nebraska   June 26th, 2009 4:05 pm ET

My wife shows be here boobies and then we have sex. Oh your god! We are evil!

Really, lighten up. Git rid of everything that uses electricity and then lock your kids in their rooms so you can protect them from the real world.


Jan   June 26th, 2009 6:29 pm ET

The most important lesson from this published and then revised article must be that CNN is just publishing second hand information from the internet without without doing any independent verification of the facts in the story.
Readers beware to draw conclusions from stories posted here or base your judgement of companies or people based on this information.


nonikwe   June 26th, 2009 8:56 pm ET

I firmly believe in the freedom and right to be my own judge of the material I view – That said I am an adult, chidren should have restricted access and apple provides that on their devices. Further I applaud apple for choosing what apps they approve for the iPhone,
I would be sad if this removal is just a knee-jerk reaction to pressure from a small group,
Censoring, controls & prohibition are very thin edges to a very large and thick wedge giving others rights over your life – history often records them as dangerous.
Lasly the internet is available on the iPhone allowing access to porn and you can use parental controls to prevent this alternatively for those determined souls wanting porn you can jailbreak and go third party – Seems a lot of work to view what 3 billion women and men have naturally and in common COMICAL REALLY!!


John Hope   June 26th, 2009 10:26 pm ET

As always Apple is better. They prefere responsability to easy gain.
Thanks Apple.


Obi Wan   June 27th, 2009 3:23 am ET

Can you believe you've read to here???


Rae   June 27th, 2009 2:55 pm ET

Its one thing for you to do it in your home another in public. I think Apple should pull it. Kids are already over saturated and the phone is for the masses. We need more parents not understanding adults. And if you call that being a prude then I rather be one.


Aaron   June 27th, 2009 3:42 pm ET

Some of you are just dumb. all smartphones have access to porn, why centre apple out, when they are the most restrictive of adult material then any other smartphone on the market.


Private Citizen   June 27th, 2009 3:53 pm ET

Let me get this straight... we buy the phone, we buy the service, we buy the apps... exactly WHERE does anyone not get this chain of events? If you don't want any or all of these... vote w/ your feet! Don't buy the app, boycott the service, toss the phone. But for those who aren't prudes, puritans, or selling some form of snake oil... leave it alone


steve c   June 28th, 2009 3:28 am ET

My ten-year old daughter spends a lot of time looking through the iTunes store for new apps and games. I would not want her stumbling on soft porn during her surfing. If you want porn on your iPod or iPhone, then there are ways and means of loading it, without Apple iTunes store displaying and selling the stuff.

Let's keep the Apple store porn-free and family-friendly.


malkiaja   June 28th, 2009 9:31 am ET

Okay so you're a mature grown adult who can watch nudity anytime you like, right? So then why not surf the web in privacy like you do now? A mature person knows when to concede his ways for the sake of others. This will run over into other things. First it's a private app, then they start advertising it, then kids find ways to abuse it. Look at alcohol and smoking and prescription meds. That is just the progression of things. So go ahead and be selfish and see what happens.


JC   June 28th, 2009 11:07 am ET

it's about what it's always about, $$$$$$$$$$$. Parents can prosecute Apple for distributing porn to their children. I'm pleased that Apple does not wish to objectify women and portray them as pieces of flesh, and naked bodies. Men do your perversion on your home computers. Stop peddling your filth to my children.


Robert   June 29th, 2009 1:38 am ET

It's amazing how many people commenting are quick to judge Apple as though they approved and distributed hard core pornography. If you actually read before you let your fingers fly you would have noticed Apple is sticking to it's own policy of NO inappropriate materials by banning the application for sale on the iTunes site. To the people that have been bad-mouthing Apple stating they have done an awful thing need to read the whole story and realize Apple is on your side here. I doubt Apple will ever offer porn on iTunes. There are many outlets for porn available to technology users. Apple of all organizations knows that they don't need to include porn to attract people to their amazingly popular and highly designed gizmos.


Tom   June 29th, 2009 8:14 am ET

I am glad to read some of the comments. We as Americans have been behind the curve on this subject for years. Our view "which is probably not our view but our Vatican overseer's view" of -violence its good, sex is bad- while the rest of the world is -violence is bad and sex is good- all i have to say is stop the craziness. Well, anyhow like someone meantioned we don't really need an app to see soft or hardcore items, everyone techy knows that.


therapy counseling   June 30th, 2009 11:10 am ET

I hate when ignorant people tell others how to love their life.


David Hahn   June 30th, 2009 11:38 am ET

if they were take porn off the iphone would it really make that much of a difference? it just seems like some people love to complain.


Joseph   June 30th, 2009 12:00 pm ET

Has anybody else stopped to think what it would mean if Apple all of a sudden started to OK pornography apps? I suspect the results would be terrifically depressing, with porno apps taking over the App Store. Apple has an image to uphold, and graphic, sexual images and applications are not part of that image, no matter what you may think.


Jackie   June 30th, 2009 12:35 pm ET

I'm just curious, why does any child who is not of working age have an iPhone? Parents are actually buying this phone for kids? Why? These parents on here are acting so concerned about shielding their children, but you've gone out and bought them mobile Internet essentially, that you can't monitor every second of the day. A phone for emergencies okay, but no one under working age needs this phone. Seriously.


Gwydion   June 30th, 2009 12:40 pm ET

@Samuel Cole

"In Europe there are commercials that are shown on TV and played on the radio or in print that would be seen as porn here in the US"

I live in a town near Barcelona (Spain), we have a nudist beach just 1 meter away were families are walking, cycling, etc and no one cares about nude people sunbathing.


Jason   June 30th, 2009 5:11 pm ET

Just wanted to echo a point already made:

Every iphone is internet connected. Thus every iphone can view porn. The app is simply steamlining the process.

I do however agree with Apple's desire to keep the "top 25" apps in it's store family friendly... I'd venture a guess that if this company had remained quiet about the addition of nudity, Apple wouldn't have a problem. It's when you stand up and shout "I'M SELLING PORN OVER HERE" that you get yourself in trouble.


Ana   June 30th, 2009 10:52 pm ET

@Janice Poehner

LMAO

amen sister!


Steven   August 1st, 2009 3:13 am ET

Rest assured, the only reason all of these religious fanatics are so well versed in the evils of pornography is because the restrictions they place on themselves in public within their community leaves them needing to wank off for hours when they have a moment of privacy, leaving them feeling guilty and ashamed. Since they can't control these 'urges', which the rest of us know to appreciate, explore, and enjoy, they think the solution is to have the porn made inaccessible to themselves (it's not the kids that they are really worried about). Such fanatics would be wise to realize that any such god as they claim to know would much more disapprove of their two-faced hypocrisy than of anyone enjoying sexuality and the human body - in ANY pleasurable position.


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iPhone App Store Just Says No to Nudity — For Now? | TiPb   September 4th, 2011 8:10 am ET

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