Apple released guidelines for determining what programs can be sold on its App Store, online after more than two years of complaints from developers that the company’s policy was secret and capricious.
The guidelines go a long way towards addressing many of the complaints, here however, there are still a number of grey areas.
Apple is clearly, and thankfully, reaffirming its stance on adult materials. While many argue that content is a personal choice, there is not a current solution in the market to allow parents to make the decision regarding what their children seen. For those that are out there Apple points out, “We have lots of kids downloading lots of apps, and parental controls don’t work unless the parents set them up (many don’t). So know that we’re keeping an eye out for the kids.”
It’s unclear what the company’s long term plans are, but they have taken a strong statement with the new guidelines about the current line on the App Store.“Apps containing pornographic material, deﬁned by Webster’s Dictionary as ‘explicit descriptionsor displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings’, will be rejected.”
Note that Apple does draw the distinction between general freedom of speech and the App Store in the guidelines. The guidelines say “We view Apps different than books or songs, which we do not curate. If you want to criticize a religion, write a book. If you want to describe sex, write a book or a song, or create a medical app.”
While everyone might not agree with Apple’s guidelines, it is good to see a company willing to step from behind the curtain and outside of legalise to give us their clear (and sometime humorous) opinions.
- “We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don’t need any more Fart apps. If your app doesn’t do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted.”
- “We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, “I’ll know it when I see it”. And we think that you will also know it when you cross it.”
- “If your app is rejected, we have a Review Board that you can appeal to. If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps.”