As you may have heard, Apple has imposed yet more restrictions on the App Store, this time vowing to ban apps that feature swimsuits, skin and even mere sexual innuendo.
They even removed a game because the main character (read: cartoon) wore a skimpy outfit.
The App Store changes are due to customer complaints from a vocal minority of people embarked on a crusade to rid the world of the slightest titillation because, well, “think of the children!” Here’s a letter to Apple from one of these censorship-minded Puritans. Let’s hope these folks don’t have their way or the iPhone is going to become rather… unstimulating:
Dear Apple & Mr. Jobs,
I commend your recent decision to remove sexually-suggestive apps from the iPhone App Store. When I discovered that 8 of my 12 children had downloaded Daisy Mae’s Alien Buffet on their iPhones and iPod Touches, I was deeply agitated by the outfit on that Ms. Daisy. Really, a thong on a cartoon character? Where do these app developers get off exposing my innocent young boys and girls to such provocative imagery? And those bikini photo apps, DEAR LORD are those out of line. Thank you for laying down the law and forbidding these graphic applications.
It was a step in the right direction, however I still have some suggestions for improving the iPhone and making it more family-friendly. Please remove the following apps from the iPhone or I am afraid I can no longer remain an Apple customer:
- Messages: After I heard about this “sexting” craze among teenagers, I can’t help but think your Messages app will encourage my children to engage in this lewd and lascivious act. Please remove it.
- Camera: Do you realize that innocent children can use the iPhone camera to photograph women in bikinis (at the public pool, on TV, or at the beach), just like those tramps in the apps that you have rightfully banned?
- Photos: I would prefer my sons not be able to use their iPhones to store photos of women they find attractive. Heaven forbid he refer to these photos for the sinful purposes of arousal! Worse, photos from the Internet can be stored in this application, opening the door to all kinds of inappropriate content. I demand that Apple remove the Photos app or else lose my patronage.
- YouTube: I am sure you are aware of the smut on this vile video site. Once while browsing for instructional videos on knitting and scripture, I inadvertently stumbled upon videos of women in bikinis. What is this world coming to? I would prefer that YouTube be removed from the iPhone as well.
- Maps: What were you thinking including this Maps application on the iPhone? I would really rather my children not know that there is an entire world outside of their safe and cozy home.
- Notes: The Notes application permits my children to freely express and document their thoughts. I can’t support that kind of behavior.
- iTunes Store and iPod: I know that iPhone permits me to ban Explicit Content from the iTunes Store and the iPod, but I would really rather my children not listen to music at all. Popular music promotes free thought and dissent, and I prefer my children do as I say. Beyonce is not the mother of my kids, I am.
- Settings: Settings gives my child too much control over her iPhone. I am the one who paid $300 for their iPhones, I deserve the right to control every aspect.
- App Store: Now that I think about it, you should just remove the App Store altogether. As I was writing this letter, I discovered my child playing this violent Quake game on his iPhone. Now, I am all for the Second Amendment but my Joey is too young to be shooting a gun. I have also discovered that despite your recent ban on stimulating apps, the Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition app is still on the iPhone! Please remove the App Store altogether.
- Phone: When I discovered 1-800-LETS-DO-IT on my phone bill last month, I realized this iPhone is giving my children all kinds of freedom. I would like the Phone app banned, or at least give me the option to set my phone number as the only contact.
- Email: The Email app lets my children receive all kinds of inappropriate emails, whether from their prepubescent friends (whose heads are always in the gutter, I tell you!) or from spam lists that deliver pornography or promises to enlarge a certain private part. I don’t allow my children to setup email accounts, so I would rather they not have access to the Email application.
- Safari: This is my last request, but my most important. I nearly fainted when I learned that Safari could access ALL OF THE INTERNET, including pornographic content way more explicit than any of those apps you banned from the App Store. I won’t begin to detail the things I have seen in my boys’ Safari history. This app is the devil, it must be removed!
If I am going to criticize you for what you have done wrong, I should also praise you for what you have done right. I love the Clocks app, it is very useful for waking my children up in the early morning to milk the cows! The Calendar is wonderful for keeping my kids on track with schoolwork and extra-curricular activities. The Calculator is of great assistance for their math homework. And the Weather and Stocks apps are fine, too. Nevertheless, the majority of iPhone apps I consider inappropriate, for the reasons outlined above.
I understand that iPhone has certain Parental Controls, and that you could simply implement Parental Controls in the App Store to keep the adult apps out of sight from my naive children, but really I would just rather you remove all of the applications that can potentially be used to access graphic content. It would give me peace of mind and it would establish Apple as a family company in my mind.
Thank you for your understanding.
P.S. Oh, and those sexy rounded edges on the iPhone body… please fix that too.
My opinion (video)
What do you think?
What do you think of Prudence’s letter above? Should Apple take more care to protect children from the leagues of inappropriate material they can access on the iPhone? I welcome your opinion in the comments.
Update: Commenter reinharden thinks Prudence does not go far enough in her call for app bans:
As lust for money is the root of all evil, the stock app should be removed as well.
If the map app is removed so as to not pollute the minds of the young with notions of faraway places, similarly the clock app should be modified so as to only show the time at the current location. And the weather app should only show the local weather.
And frankly I’m not sure how I feel about all this touching, especially when combined with all that pinching and zooming. It’s all too sensual and likely overly stimulating for young minds (and hands!).