The ‘Explicit’ Category and Adult Content
Adult-themed apps are exceedingly popular amongst iPhone users, and therefore when Apple added the 'Explicit' category to their submission form, developers must have been overjoyed. However, their happiness was short-lived because Apple whisked away the category before it even took off and the removal of adult-themed soon followed. Sometime in February this year, Apple decided to add a category when developers were submitting apps for consideration – the ‘explicit’ category. Evidently this category was to create a niche for more adult content.
In a controversial move, Apple purged all apps with even a slight suggestion of adult-themed content. All apps with scantily clad ladies were summarily removed without an explanation. Later on, Apple commented that they were responding to complaints from women users about degrading material proliferating on the App Store, and that parents were concerned that their children were exposed to unsuitable content.
While the reasons are not outrageous by any means, it was later discovered that Apple chose to allow Sports Illustrated and Playboy apps to remain intact. These apps also contain pictures of nearly nude women in revealing bikinis, and yet were allowed to remain. Apple’s response was that the content source and intention was considered as a factor before removal, giving rise to sundry protests of unfair play.
The move was also surprising as Apple has an age rating system in place, allowing parents to filter the content for their children.