500px Returns to the iOS App Store, Now Rated 17+

Darrell Etherington:

Toronto’s 500px got its popular photo sharing iPhone app back on the iTunes App Store today, following a takedown that Apple said stemmed from multiple user complaints about pornographic material. The app returns with an age-gate warning, advising that the content in the app is for 17+ audiences, and also adds a new “Report Photo” button to help users quickly tag things they find offensive for potential removal from the network.

The app still has a category for “Nude” photos for logged in users, however, which is an impressive allowance on Apple’s part. Perhaps the company is realizing that it should be rethinking how its no-porn policy works in the wake of Vine’s unfortunate “Editor’s Pick” incident, and the general porn problem that network faces.

Or perhaps nothing has changed, and 500px could have avoided the problem by rating the app 17+ from the start. I’m no fan of capricious App Store rejections or censorship, but the hubbub over Apple’s removal of 500px from the store has struck me as misguided. The app has a built-in “Nude” category — the surprise to me is that it was ever not rated 17+.

I do have a few questions for Apple, though: If the rating was the only problem, could Apple have not just changed the rating and left the app available in the store? Was the new “Report Photo” feature essential to 500px getting back into the store?

Tuesday, 29 January 2013