Apple Publishes App Review Rules; Porn Still a No-no

Sep 9, 2010 5:00 PM PST
CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple has lifted its veil on the app approval process.

Today, for the first time, Apple published its App Store Review Guidelines, helping to demystify the process it chooses which apps will be make it to iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads.

For adult entertainment operators, Apple clearly spelled out what it will reject: Pornography.

"Apps containing pornographic material, defined by Webster’s Dictionary as 'explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings,' will be rejected," Apple said in its publication of the guidelines.

Apple even goes on to say that apps developed for user-generated content that is "frequently pornographic" will be tossed in the can. It specifically mentioned an example — Chat Roulette.

"We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line," Apple said. "What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court justice once said, 'I’ll know it when I see it.

"And we think that you will also know it when you cross it."

Since the App Store opened in 2008, it has never disclosed editorial guidelines, which resulted in seemingly arbitrary rejections of a wide variety of applications.

Apple said that if an app is rejected, the company has installed a review board that developers can appeal to. "If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps," Apple said.

It also said that rules were meant to be broken, and that its app policy is dynamic.

"This is a living document, and new apps presenting new questions may result in new rules at any time," Apple said.

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