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Dear, Google: Please don’t be as silly as Apple on Market policies

February 23, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka


Dear, Google: Please don’t be as silly as Apple on Market policies

You’ve probably heard by now that Apple has removed more than 5,000 iPhone apps from the App Store because they were “overtly sexual.” Apple used an illogical and contradictory method of deciding what qualifies as overtly sexual, including removing an app that sells swimsuits through a catalog but keeping the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, FHM, and Playboy apps active. And why did they do it? Because women and parents complained.

Phil Schiller explained that Apple received customer complaints from women and parents upset about apps that were “too degrading and objectionable.” Instead of reminding these parents too lazy to monitor their children that there are parental controls and that their children could just as easily access actual pornography through the Safari browser, Apple thought it would be easier to just dump 5,000 apps, many of which were just photos of women in bikinis or had features that might be interpreted as “titillating.” Worse yet, they allowed three apps that exist for no purpose other than to entice just because they were from major brands.

Google, please don’t be as silly as Apple when people inevitably complain about the Android Market. We already know that the Market doesn’t allow adult content, but there are certain apps like Sexy Girls that push the envelope. While I think these types of apps are a waste of space, I’d rather they be not used based on their limited merits and not because of some heavy-handed policy.

I fully support efforts to keep the Market free of obviously objectionable content like pornography. However, women in bikinis or silly apps that make a user’s personally-stored photos wobble are not violations of decency. We have to be more selective and fair to both developers and the consumers who are old enough to determine what type of content to see.

Besides, if I really wanted to get adult content on my phone, there’s an app for that: The Browser.