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Apple Targets An Estimated 5,000 'Sexy' Apps for Deletion

Apple Targets An Estimated 5,000 'Sexy' Apps for Deletion

February 23, 2010 | By Danny Cowan

February 23, 2010 | By Danny Cowan

Over the weekend, Apple removed a large quantity of games and applications from the iTunes App Store, citing a sudden change in guidelines for acceptable content.

Speaking to TechCrunch, App Store developer Jon Atherton disclosed the contents of an Apple e-mail notifying him of the change:

The App Store continues to evolve, and as such, we are constantly refining our guidelines. Your application, Wobble iBoobs (Premium Uncensored), contains content that we had originally believed to be suitable for distribution. However, we have recently received numerous complaints from our customers about this type of content, and have changed our guidelines appropriately.

We have decided to remove any overtly sexual content from the App Store, which includes your application.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter. If you believe you can make the necessary changes so that Wobble iBoobs (Premium Uncensored) complies with our recent changes, we encourage you to do so and resubmit for review.

iPhone App Review

Atherton’s application Wobble iBoobs allows users to modify stored photos to add animated warping visual effects. The application’s description, screenshots, and thumbnail image imply that users would be able to use Wobble iBoobs to add “jiggle” animations to female breasts in photos.

The change in content standards affects many applications previously approved for inclusion in the App Store. A quick search at iPhone application aggregate site Apptism revealed that the majority of apps featuring words like “sexy,” “boobs,” and “bikini” in their titles are no longer available for sale.

Affected games include IUGO’s recently released Daisy Mae’s Alien Buffet and Attack of the Zombie Bikini Babes from Outer Space, a game from prominent App Store publisher Smule (Leaf Trombone, I Am T-Pain).

After speaking to an Apple employee for clarification as to what types of content are no longer acceptable, Wobble iBoobs creator Atherton described a new set of content standards at his blog:

1. No images of women in bikinis (Ice skating tights are not OK either)
2. No images of men in bikinis! (I didn’t ask about Ice Skating tights for men)
3. No skin (he seriously said this) (I asked if a Burqa was OK, and the Apple guy got angry)
4. No silhouettes that indicate that Wobble can be used for wobbling boobs
5. No sexual connotations or innuendo: boobs, babes, booty, sex – all banned
6. Nothing that can be sexually arousing!! (I doubt many people could get aroused with the pic above but those puritanical guys at Apple must get off on pretty mundane things to find Wobble “overtly sexual!)
7. No apps will be approved that in any way imply sexual content (not sure how Playboy is still in the store, but …)

As Atherton notes, the sexually suggestive official Playboy application is still available for sale. Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit applications and a number of instructional Kama Sutra apps are also unaffected.

Follow-up posts from Atherton estimate that over 2,500 applications have been deleted in the Entertainment category so far, with over 5,000 apps affected in total. Atherton also suggests that the changes were made to close the gap between Apple’s content guidelines and AT&T’s application standards.

[UPDATE: As commenters note, Daisy Mae's Alien Buffet was restored to the App Store yesterday, although the vast majority of the other apps and games are still unavailable.]

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