Apple's Triple-Standard On Nudity In The App Store

Hugh Heffner / Steve Jobs photoshop

Photo: Nick Ogawa

Yesterday, gadget website Shiny Shiny created a stir when it reported that some fashion magazines are developing censored versions of their publications for the iPad.Fashion magazines sometimes depict nudity in their print editions — not something that would make it past the iTunes Store’s censors.

Apple’s prudery doesn’t apply to all app-makers evenly, however. In fact, Apple appears to have three distinct standards in place:

  • Small, independent developers are not allowed to include any “overtly sexual content”. This includes pictures of women in bathing suits.
  • Magazines with established brands — Sports Illustrated and Playboy, for instance — are allowed to depict overtly sexual images of scantily clad women, but aren’t allowed to depict actual nudity. Fashion magazines appear to be in this category too.
  • Netflix can stream movies to the iPad with whatever content it chooses, including full nudity, graphic depictions of sex, and brutal violence and gore.

Apple is, of course, entitled to run the App Store however it chooses. But it can’t expect anyone to take its explanation — that its goal is to keep things clean for the children — seriously when the more lucrative apps play by different rules.

See also: The iPhone Porn Apple Still Allows In The App Store

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