Friday, December 26, 2008
Relaxed App Store Rules May Spark Censorship Debate
Just a warning, this post may remind you of some conversations you heard in the junior high locker room.
For the record, I agree with Apple's decision to filter its items for sale in the app store. To maintain a family friendly feel and to avoid lawsuits, Apple is taking the moral high ground regarding adult-themed applications.
Any programs featuring nudity are banned, which means mom and dad don't have to worry about sexual pics showing up on the latest application their teenager is downloading. In my opinion, Apple's standard makes the iPhone more appealing to a protective family. (I'm sure there are plenty of people out there,including app developers, who disagree with me.)
Personally, I support Apple's decision, because I think there's already enough of that stuff floating around the Internet, and this is one measure that could keep those pics away from kids. I also believe that Apple, as well as every other company, has the right to protect its image through certain regulations.
Here's the problem: For many developers, Apple's vague description of "objectionable material" leaves too much room for interpretation, and that's why I expect a few legal problems in the near future.
II have my own set of beliefs and morals, but people from different backgrounds,cultures and religions have different standards for what's "objectionable." or "inappropriate." That's just a fact of life- no matter what your moral standards are, You know there are always plenty of others who disagree with you.
According to tgdaily, more 10,000 apps have been developed. Of the 10,000 apps, I'm sure there are at least a few that some parents can't be too thrilled with, including:
- Poker and gambling related applications out there. Some parents may not want their kids exposed to gambling related games , in fear that they might become addicted at a young age.
- The iBeer application. You're ewarded for "chugging" a virtual beer. Some parents may think those games encourage underage drinking.
- Farting apps. Believe me, they exist. Dozens of different versions, from iFart mobile to Pull My Finger. Each one plays whoopie cushion sound effects. If I had a kid, I'd laugh along with him, but some parents may not enjoy those sounds in public places and other situations where they could be embarrassed.
What's the solution to this ethical debate regarding censorship?
Apple could clarify its stance with a list of categories deemed objectionable", so developers have specific list to follow. However, regardless of what the "banned" list includes, there will be plenty of other items with the potential to offend SOME groups.
The bottom line for Apple: there is no easy answer. A story by tgdaily offers further insight about censorship and the future of app store.
By Matt O'Hern at 10:30 AM | Comments (1)