Apple wants your eyes to remain pure, goodbye 500px

This morning around 1AM Eastern Apple pulled the 500px app from their Appstore claiming it was too easy for users to find nude photos through the app.

The current version of the app has been on the Appstore for months! 16 months since it was added to the Appstore, and in November (2012) there was an update to the interface, but the search components didn’t change, says their COO.

Technically the claim is right, that you can search for nude images. However, the app starts all search in what is called a “safe search” mode. Making it hard for users to actually find the nude photos.

It amazes me that developers, and users, are willing to accept this kind of one sided control. Do I want there to be porn apps in the Appstore, no. Do I care? No. I have the parental controls to keep things like that from falling into the wrong (child) hands. As a developer it would infuriate me to have my app rejected because it could possibly be used for entertainment values that a specific group (in this case Apple) finds to be immoral.

Let’s clarify here too. 500px is NOT a porn site. They are a photography hosting and sharing site. They discourage their own site being used for porn. You aren’t allowed to upload porn. You are allowed to ¬†upload tasteful and perfectly legal nude art imagery.

This reminds me of another app that suffered at the extent of the user submitted content. A friend of mine runs a dating site. Their app was held up in review because user could possibly upload images that were inappropriate, and users could arrange to meet up for what Apple deemed immoral activities (sex). Who is Apple to tell people what they can and can’t do with their apps? With their phones? With their lives?

Apple, mind your own damn business.