Apple pulls 500px app from App Store, accuses it of allowing too easy access to porn

Apple pulls 500px app from App Store, accuses it of allowing too easy access to porn
500px is one of our favorite photography applications - a simply and beautifully designed app for photographers and enthusiasts, but also a community, it was suddenly pulled out of the Apple App Store for allegedly allowing easy access to pornographic images.

Here is the official explanation by Cupertino:

“The app was removed from the App Store for featuring pornographic images and material, a clear violation of our guidelines. We also received customer complaints about possible child pornography. We've asked the developer to put safeguards in place to prevent pornographic images and material in their app.”

Those are some heavy accusations from Apple, especially given the fact that 500px has never hosted purely pornographic pictures, and the nude images that are hosted are always artistic in nature, not vulgar in any way.

“We don’t allow pornographic images. If something is purely pornographic, it’s against our terms and it’s deleted,” 500px COO Evgeny Tchebotarev notes.

It is true, though, that through the search function one can find nude images in 500px. The service relies on its users to flag inappropriate images, but in addition it also has a very clear and enabled by default opt-out policy for nude images.

However, what makes Apple’s move particularly weird is the fact that the 500px app was on the App Store for nearly 16 months staying with virtually the same functionality from the get go. The app was only updated in November with a prettier UI but no other changes.

Here is the developer’s official response:

Now, we can understand Apple pulling the app immediately (if it didn’t and child pornography was found, that could be considered grounds for a lawsuit), but it’s strange that it did so with this exact application that has obviously been there for a long while. Pornographic content is of course not far from the reach via browsers as well, and here we’re not even talking about ‘pornographic’ images per se.

The 500px app should be back in a couple of days, but we are once again seeing Apple’s walled garden approach. The app is still freely available on the Google Play store. Question remains, though, is Apple's decision good for developers and users? We’ll let you sound off your thoughts in the comments below.

source: Tech Crunch



1. Topcat488

Posts: 1422; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

Apple did the right thing!

12. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

its not the developers fault what gets posted on their services...agreed there should be some safety measure or authentication protocol for accessing adult content but you really cant blame the developer or snag their app out...the right thing is to deliver a notice of the situation to the developers and ensure they take necessary steps. However if there was child porn on that service then Apple did the right thing! People who prey on children and violate women's rights dont deserve a place amongst humans because they arent humans!

13. JeffdaBeat unregistered

I'm sorry, I don't get Apple with this no nudity thing. One app that has plenty of nudity...Safari...which comes preloaded on every iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. But I've never understood the big deal in nudity. We care so little about violence, but the natural human body, OH NO! I get that Apple can absolutely pass whatever rules they's their store. But I wish people in general would get over being hung up on sex/nudity when it's part of human nature. Murder is not.

15. JC557

Posts: 1925; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Actually random killing may not be, but domination killing is a part of the animal instinct. Of course the over-reaction of a nipple is getting tired and old.

26. Topcat488

Posts: 1422; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

Animal instinct & nipples, reminds of some good zoophilia videos out there... A woman and her doggy style.

25. Topcat488

Posts: 1422; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

First of all the article says that the App will be back in the Apps Store in a couple of days... (I take it you did read the article.) But in case you didn't read it, before commenting, here's a bit of a quote: “The app was removed from the App Store for featuring pornographic images and material, a clear violation of our guidelines. We also received customer complaints about possible child pornography. Spiritual Murder it is.

27. rdaex

Posts: 152; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

agreed... If I wanna see Cytheria spraying the room like the fountains at Bellagio, Ill just load up safari! Speaking of... I think the next show is about to start!!

18. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

Welcome to fascism without freedom, welcome to need to be led otherwise you dont know what do you want to install ;-)

2. big.e927

Posts: 94; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

Of course, it would really would be Apple to pull some crap like this. Now I've never even heard about this app, but let me just state an unbiased opinion, k? If there was, by any chance, child pornography in this Web community and Apple knew something that the developers didn't, wouldn't it have been the rational and reasonable thing to do is to at least give the developers a proper notice of what was so bad that they were considering pulling the application in the first place? Child pornography is a huge NO, but what has me puzzles is how Apple spotted this out of all the millions upon millions of pictures on the app? Is it just me or does that not come off as shady. My opinion, Apple put it there to then come off as a concerned "parent" figure to this stunt, because if this was really as bad as they're making it out to be, they wouldn't even allow the app to ever be put back in the app store due to their zero tolerance clause.

6. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

KEEEEN EYE! ^^^^ lol

19. big.e927

Posts: 94; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

Thanks man.

4. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 621; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Looks like they need to get rid of cameras and any app using them because "pornographic" images are everywhere. Like he ^ said.

5. Obie-Wan

Posts: 113; Member since: May 24, 2012

Good move by the way. Its kind of complicated bout 'pornograpic' pics, theres a narrow line between artistic n pornograpic... kinda hard to tell nowadays.

22. Giggity

Posts: 147; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

If it gives you a boner (giggity) then it is porn (giggity), otherwise it's art.

8. Aeires unregistered

Now we know why Apple has software coding in iOS to shut down cameras on the iPhones. /s

9. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I cant comment on it because I didnt see the nude pics it had a problem with. If they were artistic...Apple will probably never have a museum app... This also goes with what I'n been sayign for years about the web browser. Ppl get up in arms about copyrighted material....and yet the web browser is as good as a specific site. How easier is it to get to nude pics than from the browser? Any safe guards in place for that? If so, why cant apps that also have those safe guards in place be left alone?

11. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Apple may be lying on this one.

16. simplyj

Posts: 406; Member since: Dec 23, 2009

And Tumblr is porn heaven. Why hasn't that one been deleted?

23. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Same goes for twitter.

30. ZeroCide

Posts: 817; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

Flickr should be banned too in that case. Apple seems do do what they like randomly as long as it is in Apple's best interest.

17. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

Umm this is pathetic..the way too allow mature content is by going to the site and logging in and enabling mature default its off...if you going to ban this then you might aswel ban safari as you can find porn even easier.

20. big.e927

Posts: 94; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

Not to rain on your parade, just for the sake of fyi... They can't ban safari because safari is their stock browser, it's integrated into every piece of applicable Apple product. Also, browsers have the freedom to roam through the abundant Web space of the internet without prejudice or prosecution for doing exactly what they were designed to do, which is to display Web pages, which are, in fact, the basic functions. As far as porn goes, that's what the disclaimers are for that only people of ages 18+ May enter, blah, blah, blah, etc. An app doesn't have that safeguard because there probably isn't a proper screening module or system set up to categorize and sort the pictures out. That's why the application was simply designed for people to pretty much "do it themselves" and was running on a "flag it yourself" kind of Web community basis. The last parts are also unbiased speculation, again, I do not know much about this application and going on by what I've read.

21. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Maybe Apple has stolen it for inclusion in iOS7. They do this all the time don;t they?

24. Aeires unregistered

I just downloaded this app on my Nexus 4 and in less than 30 seconds, it's clear Apple really dropped the ball on this. Nudes are default off, and the images on this site are really professional grade for the non-nude works posted there. I feel like Apple just took a dump on culture and sophistication with their banning this app. Some of their app store policies make sense but banning such a high quality app leaves me smh.

28. moronman66

Posts: 162; Member since: Jan 09, 2012

Last I checked, there was Tumblr app, and I've seen soooo many weird naked pictures on Tumblr. I believe the way this should've been handled was Apple sending a warning to the application, or the submitter of such "pornographic" photos, telling them to remove them or have their account revoked or something, not punish the developers of the app!

29. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

I get the feeling both companies are being a bit dishonest here. If Apple really found their content questionable, then the zero tolerance police would keep the 500px app from coming back. And, given this is a world of many people that do things for schlitz & giggles as well as many people that must impose their own sense of morality on others I just can't accept that 500px never ever received even one single complaint. Something fishy going on here. I'm more inclined to believe the two companies just had a bit of a pissing match.

31. keyeon

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

Apple should make a nude detection on the camera with a red box and that's what you call innovation.. Lol

32. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

f**k Apple, might as well take down safari because I can access Google from that and google "nekkid gals" from there.. Heck, don't allow iPhones access to wifi and mobile data connections might solve the so-called pornographic problems Apple has problems with.. Not that I'm pro pornography, but lately, Apple policies have been as vulgar as the very thing they want to ban themselves.. It should be their policies that get banned and censored!

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