Is The iPhone The New Vehicle Of The Porn Industry?

What is Apple’s stance on pornographic iPhone applications? The company has been fighting off some bad press lately after having to ban two super sexy applications that slipped through the cracks (no pun intended). The problems came from “hot or not” type apps, which allow users to upload suggestive pictures of women (or young girls, sigh). While one company’s rule states no nude photos are allowed, bikini and lingerie shots are okay. The user-generated content is monitored, but not reviewed in detail.However, the “hot or not” app developers seemed to be testing their limits, according to ABC News: “About a week after Apple unveiled a new operating system that includes parental controls that could filter out explicit content, the developers took off what was left of the clothes on the women, and turned up the heat on their product’s content.” In response, Apple made clear its stipulations for adult content through spokesman Tom Neumayr, who said, “Apple will not distribute applications that contain inappropriate content, such as pornography.”

Apple’s stance aside, perhaps the question to ask is should the pornography industry be able to capitalize on the medium? It would seem we were having a similar debate about adult websites and the Internet several years ago. Lord knows porn apps would be wildly popular (an economy boost even, perhaps?). Apple seems to be setting itself up in a contradiction. While the company may be banning risqué content from the iPhone, users can still access porn through the phone’s Internet browser. The difference, however, is that applications are essentially Apple products, whereas browser content isn’t under their jurisdiction. But even in areas under their control, Apple seems wishy-washy, for example, by banning a “South Park” application for its explicit content, while the same “explicit content” was still featured in “South Park” episodes available for purchase in the iTunes store.

What do you think? Will/should Apple relent in the future and create a space for porn apps with privacy controls? Or would such an availability just lead to an increase in male masturbation in public restrooms? [ABC News]

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