Reports: 5,000 'overtly sexual' iPhone apps purged

While stats indicate that Apple is on a warpath against overtly sexual App Store content, apps such as Playboy seem to have been missed by a recent purge.

Late last week, Apple notified developer Chillifresh that its Wobble iBoobs application was being removed from the App Store due to its "overtly sexual" nature. Since then, it appears that Apple has gone on a rampage of sex-oriented app removals.

Playboy

Chillifresh claimed in a Saturday post that a discussion with Apple revealed that more than 5,000 apps have been affected by its new App Store content policy. Apple said the change was triggered by numerous customer complaints, according to Chillifresh.

"Whenever we receive customer complaints about objectionable content, we review them," Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller later told CNET. "If we find these apps contain inappropriate material, we remove them and request the developer make any necessary changes in order to be distributed by Apple."

Data from iPhone app-tracking Web site AppShopper supports the claim. AppShopper sister site MacRumors on Sunday reported that app removals went from about 100 a day to a high of almost 4,000 on Friday.

Chillifresh said on its Web site that an Apple representative told the developer that under its new App Store policy, it will not accept applications that in any way imply sexual content or include the following:

  • images of women in bikinis
  • images of men in bikinis
  • images of skin
  • silhouettes indicating that the app includes sexual images
  • sexual connotations or innuendo
  • sexually arousing content

Interestingly, some apps that include sexual content, such as Playboy's, seem to have been missed by the recent purge--so far, at least. Doing a search for "girls" on the App Store will bring up a variety of apps with bikini-clad women and others that appear to break the new rules Chillifresh said Apple outlined.

Of course, if Apple keeps on purging the way it has over the last few days, they could be gone soon enough.

Update, 1:45 p.m. PST: Comment from Apple added.

About the author

Jim Dalrymple has followed Apple and the Mac industry for the last 15 years, first as part of MacCentral and then in various positions at Macworld. Jim also writes about the professional audio market, examining the best ways to record music using a Macintosh. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. He currently runs The Loop.

 

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