Consumer News

What’s Offensive, Apple?

Conflicting iTunes policy on offensive material doesn't seem to benefit the consumer.

Consumer News

What’s Offensive, Apple?

A la Jerry Seinfeld, we have to ask: What’s the deal with Apple and its policy on offensive material in iTunes?

On the one hand, App Store Review Guidelines state that Apple will reject any app that contains offensive material. On the other hand, there’s a specific app rating (17+) for approved apps that may contain offensive material. Here’s how those two look side by side:

From page seven of the review guidelines

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 4.51.21 PM

And the app rating, which is one of four (the others being 4+, 9+, and 12+)

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 3.18.55 PM

TINA.org previously reached out to Apple for comment on this issue when we wrote about an app called Game of Secrets, an app which one reviewer — summing up nicely the consensus of many — called “misleading and offensive in every way.” We have yet to hear back.

We can surmise, though, that Apple can benefit from the conflicting policies. In the event it runs into any kind of trouble with an app containing overtly offensive material, Apple can point to the line in its review guidelines that states it doesn’t approve these types of apps.

RELATED: Apple to Pay at Least $32.5M to Settle Billing Complaint

So, if you think Apple will have your back if you are offended by an app it approved, you may want to think again. What’s offensive to you may actually not be offensive to Apple. Apple will decide what’s offensive because, as it states in its policies, they will know it when they see it.

Click here for more Terms of Surrender posts. And let us know if you think you’ve spotted a potential candidate for next time.


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