Dear Apple: Why Do You Hate Porn?

James Mowery January 31 Apple

Over 40 million Americans visit porn sites. Men aged 18 to 24 account for roughly 70 of this audience. One out of three is female. And the fascinating thing is that Sunday is considered primetime for pornography. But you don’t care, Apple, and that is a problem.

So let me ask you a question, Apple: why does it matter to you? If people want to indulge themselves in porn, who are we to tell them not to? These people are not bad: they give into temptation. They are the very people who you sell your products to, who just so happen to give into temptation as well.

So, when Hugh Hefner, of all people, announces that Playboy is coming to the iPad in full, uncensored form, I would think that you would see things in a new light. You can write a new chapter in the history of your company. And why not now? Playboy is, after all, one of the most well-known names in the pornography business. It will be okay!

But you ruined it! You denied the Hef from bringing his Playboy bunnies along for the ride to the App Store. You turned this whole situation into an anti-climactic tragedy, and, furthermore, you did it without any real justification. (Side note: there are more advertisements than nudity in Playboy. Also, people only read it for the stories, right?)

If I wanted, I could walk into a dozen book stores, gas stations, or other places around here and walk out with the latest issue of Playboy, with the bare essentials included. The clerk might give me a weird look, but who cares? I do what I want! But I can’t do this this on an iPad — which has the added benefit eliminating the annoying clerk. Your reasoning doesn’t add up.

I understand that you want to keep the Apple ecosystem pure of outside elements that could compromise Apple’s values. I understand that this would be a controversial step to take. I also understand that porn isn’t exactly the most desired thing that would ever appear in the App Store to consumers (or so I’d hope). But you should take this step; if not for the porn industry, you should do this to resolve the hypocrisy that personifies you lately.

 

Apple's Hypocrisy

Porn isn’t the first thing that pops into mind when thinking of beauty, simplicity, and elegance. But, Apple, you can’t rely on this argument alone. You already allow questionable material into the Apple store. For example, you have no problem with selling music that features sexual lyrics and situations in them. What makes music special that it receives a pass? I’m sure that kids listen to more music than they watch porn. You also have no problem with allowing Hollywood flicks that are more risqué than what you would find in Playboy magazine — Zack and Meri Make A Porno is just as naughty as it sounds, if not worse. And don’t get me started on the “Sex Positions HD” App I just found; for me, spooning will never be the same.

Another argument you make is that you want to keep the Apple ecosystem a family-safe environment. Well, I think I proved that this isn’t your top priority. You allow applications that promote the firing of guns, killing of people, destruction of things, and the exchange of drugs. Family safe? I don’t think so. But, of all these, you have a problem with nudity? You should know that children are exposed to porn, on average, at age 11;I doubt your restrictions against porn in the App Store is going to change this trend.

But what do you have to worry about, Apple? It isn’t like you would be allowing in every single piece of porn into the marketplace. You have the keys, you have the ability to reject content that overdoes it, and you have the power to remove any content that you don’t like. Just hire more application reviewers; I’m sure the money you’d make from the new sales would justify it.

Furthermore, if you allowed pornographic content on the iPad, you could implement ways to prevent users who shouldn’t have access from viewing the content. You could create a section of the marketplace that requires special privileges/authorization to gain access. The media can’t argue against this.

 

Make It Right

Either way, Apple, you are not preventing people from accessing porn on the iPad, the iPhone, the iPod Touch or other Apple-related devices or computers. You are only frustrating users who desire this content and annoying developers who want to provide it. Also, your investors might have an argument to be made that you’re passing up a great opportunity to make more money — and lots of it.

(And one other thing: If you intend on giving consumers the opportunity to make purchases with their mobile phones while utilizing this NFC technology you are so excited about, are you going to prevent users from walking into a porn shop and buying something, all in the name of protecting us? I hope not.)

In the end, Apple, we don’t need you to be our guardians. We have our own ethos, ethics, and morality standards. But if you are this hellbent on banning “alcohol, caffeine, contact sports, non-educational toys, meat, spicy and unhealthy food, table salt and tobacco” (go, Demolition Man!) and all other things bad for the human race, then at least be consistent about it, or you will continue to upset consumers and developers, just as an application developer pointed out to me as I was writing this piece.

Porn isn’t that bad, Apple. I only wish you would realize it.

Written by James Mowery

James Mowery is a passionate technology journalist and entrepreneur who has written for various top-tier publications like Mashable and CMSWire. Follow him on Twitter: @JMowery.
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Comments

7 Comments »

 
#1
anonymous
January 31st, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I believe that apple is doing the right thing by restricting porn. We need some big industry to ban porn. I dont like your argument.

 
 
#2
James Mowery
January 31st, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Why? Give me a reason.

 
 
#3
San
February 3rd, 2011 at 2:39 pm

not only apple but alos every where porn should be banned. there is no reason or discussion needed.

 
 
#4
M. Hilton
January 31st, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I agree with the author. Apple is hypocritical and sanctimonious at the same time when they deny their users any kind of “dirty” stuff, but allow apps that demonstrate such family values as killing, and songs that are full of sexual innuendo
I guess they must live in a perfect world that’s all clean, good and nobody ever dies. But at least Apple makes their money from their “squeaky-clean” image (or they think it is.)
They’re a monopolistic, autocratic corporation which would rather cut off services than to give into the demand of the marketplace or their customers.
Funny, for a company that won’t allow any mention of “screwing”, they do a pretty good job of doing exactly that to their customers.

 
 
#5
anonymous
January 31st, 2011 at 10:53 pm

if apple didn’t ban porn, children could also have access to porn. Even though there is a age restrcition that could be imposed, it is too easy to donwload porn. That is why apple is doing the right thing

 
 
#6
Carl Brown
February 1st, 2011 at 5:12 am

Consider the “social costs of pornography.”

http://www.socialcostsofpornography.org/

 
 
#7
alex
February 1st, 2011 at 10:40 am

It’s not really about Apple, it’s about the other five/sixths of the US population who HATE seeing a bunch of smut apps in all the top rankings, Making it impossible to use the top rankings for anything but porn. People who don’t subscribe to that lifestyle largely find it disgusting, religious or not. Which makes having to see the icons, and titles in the apps store unpleasant enough that people will avoid the app store ALL TOGETHER rather than see the GD eporn.

BTW, it’s called the web browser, use it. It’s not like Apple banned all access to porn. They just LIMIT the apps which are dedicated to it. Which btw is only a limit not a ban, there are still porn apps on the store. Also, all you pervs aren’t limited to eporn anyway, they still print magazines, which are still just as portable.

Overall it’s just good business, the majority of healthy people don’t actually use porn. And a large majority actually find it distasteful. Making the limitation, more just good business, than a stance on porn.

 

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