Apple CEO Cook: We don’t want porn in our App Store

In an interview on MSNBC, Apple CEO Tim Cook dicsussed how the company reviews every app in the App Store.

We do carefully review each app and police now. And we don’t subscribe to the view that you have to let everybody in that wants to or if you don’t, you don’t believe in free speech… We don’t believe that because we’re like the guy on the corner store, what you sell in that store says something about you and if you don’t want to sell that other thing, you don’t sell it. It doesn’t mean that you can’t use an iPhone to go to your browser and go to some porno site, if you want to do that, but… I’m not making fun of it!

But I’m just saying that it’s not what we want to put in our store. We want kids to go to the store, right, because kids – there’s a lot of learning, education apps in the store. And so, we’ve always done that. We’ve worked for the music industry to coding explicit, and so a parent could say, “I don’t want my child listening to explicit content.” We make sure all the movies are coded in such a way where you can say, “I only want my child looking at G movies,” or whatever or we have a parental control around apps. You can say, “I don’t want them on these certain apps.” And so, this is something that we’ve always felt really responsible for. – Apple CEO Tim Cook

Direct link to video here.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s Steve Jobs’ take on the subject:

We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone.Steve Jobs, April, 2010

Note: The full interview, part of Revolution: Apple Changing The World, is scheduled to air Friday, April 6 at 8 pm ET, 5 pm PT on MSNBC.

SEE ALSO:
Android porn app took secret photos of users, demanded ransom payments – September 8, 2015
Man who sued Apple for his porn addiction named among ‘Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2013’ – December 23, 2013
Apple sued because its devices can display porn – July 12, 2013
Steve Jobs: ‘Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone’ – April 20, 2010
Apple porn and sex app purge encouraged by iTunes App Store users and developers – February 20, 2010
Apple pulls ‘Hottest Girls’ nudie app: We will not distribute apps that contain pornography – June 26, 2009

135 Comments

    1. To be fair, Jobs was wrong on this one. There is nothing immoral in porn (and it is actually healthy). And there are no issues with filtering the content. Just as with music, where songs with curses are marked with “E”, “explicit”, the same can be done with porn in applications and videos. There way how Apple decides for adults what they can or can not see is insulting, especially in the light how you can buy games where you are supposed to kill people.

      1. Your are, of course, entitled to your opinion. But the real point is that Steve Jobs and Apple are entitled to their opinions, and they are the ones running their store.

        I’m not sure the issue is morality. I think they just feel it is inappropriate to their primary audience. Sort of why we don’t see Adult Novelty Stores at DisneyWorld on Main Street, I suppose.

        1. Disney parks are also walled gardens. Very different from small business which has essentially zero power to force its customers into user agreements. Not a difficult concept people. Remember corporations are taking over the world so get used to “my way or the highway” arrangements from these Big Brother companies. Already you are seeing small towns and small businesses dying because the lazy consumer would prefer the convenience of Apple’s walled garden iOS to the oh-so-difficult chore of purchasing media that isn’t whitewashed by Tim first.

          Why do all y’all libertarians like iOS again? It takes away your freedom and supports a liberal multinational corporation that selectively pushes certain morals that you obviously don’t all agree with.

          1. Well, you got one concept right. Disney parks are certainly theirs. No denying that. And Disney can manage them as they deem appropriate. If they wanted to install Adult Novelty Stores on Main Street USA, they certainly could. But they don’t want to. This does not mean Disney is screwing customers. They also do not have a lot of other types of stores on Main Street USA, either, like, say, Target. Or Meineke Muffler. But this does not make Disney “Big Brother”. And it is not white-washing. It is Disney’s business. And they are running it they way they want to. Without discrimination, I might add. This has nothing to do with liberalism, either, by the way. Dunno where you are coming from, to be honest. It is not that difficult…

            1. Well, Mr applecynic, “it’s their app store and they can do what they want to, do what they want to…” (to the tune of “It’s my party…)

            2. Mr applecynic, you have alternatives. You are living in the best of all possible worlds.

              What you really mean is that you want Apple to give you alternatives that you want, which they have already decided they do not want to give you.

            1. You can do whatever you want with your device now. Except you cannot download porn from Apple’s app store, because that is Apple’s decision to make, not yours, and they do not want to sell porn. Dunno why you have a problem with that. You are being a real dink about this, and most of the other issues you complain about on this site.

              You like everything about the Apple iPhone …except that it is not Android.

            2. I don’t want to download porn from Apple’s or anyone’s App Store. I want other app stores available. Apple has the right to sell what they want within the law, they are censoring and preventing other sales channels though.

            3. “they are censoring and preventing other sales channels though.”

              Yeah, so? Show me one business that does not discriminate. Back in the day that was called good discriminating taste.

              You raised an interesting point that Apple sells profanity, extreme violence, sexism, misogyny, more in movies and music but not porn (xxx love). I admit you have a point.

              But seriously, they can never be a porn purveyor any more so than Disney …

            4. Even MS didn’t do that. It forced continued sakes and is anticompetitive. The owner of the device is forced into doing continued business with Apple. It’s like buying a car and being forced to use the manufacturers gas station and only pkay what they allow o the radio.

            5. “Even MS didn’t do that. It forced continued sakes and is anticompetitive.”

              Not sure what you are saying?

              “The owner of the device is forced into doing continued business with Apple.”

              Forced? I bought an iPhone. I use it and buy nothing more. Case closed.

              “It’s like buying a car and being forced to use the manufacturers gas station and only pkay what they allow o the radio.”

              C’mon dude, that is ridiculous. You are a lot smarter than that …

            6. And typing was totally incoherent as well….

              Imagine MS saying you had to get all Windows software from their store, after they approved it. They say… “Flash sucks, you must use Silverlight”, iTunes not allowed!

              You can only code in C#, and you will need a revocable license to code at all.

              Yet even they didn’t.
              It is their platform after all….

            7. Playing devil’s advocate, OK? If MS or Apple said you had to get all software from their stores and it is tested and most compatible or the best, what’s the problem? No piss poor buggy alternatives?

            8. MS did have a “Seal” program of validation at one time. Still, from their position, that could kill a company. What does “forbiddance” do? It not only kills the product, it extends that control to the user level.

      2. Nothing immoral about porn?

        Pfft.

        If you wouldn’t watch it with your mother it can’t really be that moral.

        Would you watch porn with your mother?

        What standard of objective morality are you appealing to?

          1. Pornography is immoral. The US Supreme Court, in the person of Potter Stewart, could not define obscenity except by saying “I know it when I see it,” which is a statement of personal revulsion that can’t withstand rational scrutiny. Almost everyone’s mother, armed with a bar of soap, is vigilant about their child’s exposure to vulgar language — mothers reserve the right to restrict speech. Sexuality informs just about every taboo in every culture, and underpins the repressive religious regimes that have dominated human affairs for centuries — licentiousness is something to be discouraged, because it can disrupt the aristocratic right of succession through bastardisation. Sex is life, and love, and dynasty, and power — and pornography cheapens those overarching human ideals, by making delicious secrets available to the unworthy. This is why it is immoral.

  1. I understand Tim. It’s like a store that sells wedding cakes right? That store says something about the owners. If they don’t believe in gay marriage and decline to bake a cake and provide it for the wedding it’s certainly within they’re rights to do so. Right, Tim?

    1. You are confusing WHAT a shop chooses to sell with TO WHOM a shop owner chooses to sell. It is a huge distinction. Shop owners, cannot discriminate; it is illegal. If a store sells wedding cakes, it cannot refuse to sell a cake to any specific customers simply because they are gay. Or black. Or female. Or muslim. Or whatever. Repeat: discrimination is illegal. This does not mean the shop owner must be gay, or even condone being gay. But the shop owner must accept gay customers without discrimination, like every other customer.

        1. Non sequitur.

          Apple and many other companies are trying as much as possible are forcing users step by step into thin client, walled garden, server and software rental contract based computing.

          So now you attempt to draw equivalency between a cake sale, advertised to everyone at a specific price, no user agreement required, which was then withdrawn when the identity of the buyers were revealed, with Apple????

          Look, you give Apple or Android or whatever all your rights when you click on the user agreement. That’s why Gay Timmy knows that he can act as Big Brother in his garden. For years MDN has cheered every iOS market gain while bitching constantly about any and all rules, regulations, and inhibitions on their libertarian fantasy.

          My recommendation: don’t be a hypocrite. If you paid Apple and signed up to the user agreement, then you chose to cede control to Apple. Same thing for everything legally walled garden, homeowners association, corporate managed healthcare groups, etc.

          If you want personal freedom, you might want to rediscover personal computing platforms like the Mac, or even Windows.

          If you are a baker who wants to discriminate against certain customers, then all you need to do is have every customer sign up to your user agreement when they walk in the door.

        2. Ash,
          If all customers are required to wear shoes or shirts, then refusing to serve someone who does not wear shoes or shirts is not discriminatory. Not sure why you are confused on this issue, to be honest, if that was your point…

      1. What you and the new media don’t mention, they had cakes on all the shelves and they could buy any of them. “No discrimination,”
        What the owners would not do, is sit down and design a specific cake. That is legal.

        1. If the shop designs cakes for customers, then they have no right to deny a any particular customer that service simply because the shop owner does not like their politics, religion, race, gender, looks, or who they have a consensual relationship with.

          Don’t “blame it on the new media”. Blame it on being ignorant.

        1. That “simple little sign” was developed in the South to allow discrimination against African-Americans. It has not been legally effective for that purpose since 1964. Nor does it allow other forms of discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, age, or sex.

          Putting one up may make you “good” but it won’t keep you out of court.

            1. Actually, I am not sure they can do this legally. Even if they say “We reserve the right to deny service to anyone”. There has to be a legitimate reason. It cannot be arbitrary.

            2. They have to be causing a disturbance or something like that. They cannot be refused service without a good reason. It must be a non-discriminatory reason.

            3. thank you, yes you are correct if a Indian walks into a western diner or a straight into a frisco gay bar or a white into a harlem black bar they cannot be denied service because of how they look it is wrong they have to make trouble and disturb first and then the heave ho

          1. I’m curious: why am I wrong and you right when we both said exactly the same thing?

            If you are discriminating against a member of a legally protected class (blacks, women, Mexican-Americans, older folks, people with disabilities, etc), the sign isn’t effective. If the person isn’t a member of a protected class, the sign is unnecessary, because nobody except a common carrier has a duty to serve any particular individual.

            1. women are not the protected class and I find your post insulting to all free people that some have higher status than others when we are ALL equal you divisive liberal

            2. If you don’t like the concept of protected classes, I suggest that you move (back?) to a country that didn’t pass the Thirteenth through Fifteenth Amendments 150 years ago and the Civil Rights Act 50 years ago. Women are, most emphatically, a class of persons protected against discrimination on the basis of sex in THIS country. If you don’t like that, you are free to move, or to pick up your tiki torch and march down to the Capitol to petition Congress to change the law and/or amend the Constitution.

              “Equal Justice Under Law” is hardly a divisive liberal concept. Some pretty conservative guys had it carved onto the US Supreme Court Building.

            3. the concept does not concern the reality does our constitution is based on equality and equal justice for all and that we achieved democrat dividers like YOURSELF are threat to society carving and stereotype people into protect special groups this and that, is wrong for all denying equality you are the one that leaves the country we will be better off without you have a safe trip

            4. …would help…but in You are wrong’s case, not so much since denying the facts – the true meaning and intent of the Constitution and amendments, you put yourself beyond reason.

      2. Hey doofski. Management reserves the right to refuse service. Them’s the rules. If you don’t like it, but your same sex homosexual marriage wedding cake from some other shop that will sell to you, innit?

        And never patronize that shop again. Grow a brain or go home, govna

      3. “it cannot refuse to sell a cake to any specific customers simply because they are gay.”

        that DID NOT HAPPEN!

        they offered to sell any cake to the gay couple

        what they refused to do was make a custom cake for the gay couple because the artistic baker declined on religious grounds

        GOOD FOR HIM

        stop spreading misinformation!

        1. A business cannot deny service — whether it is a pre-made cake or a custom designer cake — to any customer simply because the owner does not like someone’s politics, looks, religion, gender, age, or who they have a consensual relationship with.

          1. i guess you don’t understand the concept that the business is in control and not the customer who is simply a momentary guest i guess you also don’t understand artistic freedom i guess you also don’t understand religious FREEDOM anyone that thinks like you is an enemy of the constitution

            1. You may guess all you want. But you are just guessing. You certainly do not understand discrimination.

              A business is in control up to the point that it …cannot discriminate. Neither artistic freedom nor religious freedom gives anyone the right to discriminate.

            2. sorry to read you do not understand business, discrimination and won’t laugh at you no ONE has the right to walk into my diner and tell me how to cook, who for how many hours to open no one has the right to walk into my bakery or art studio and tell me what to bake how to paint, when to do it and what to charge I have constitutional, religious and artistic freedoms you will never tread on me

            3. Yes, indeed, YOU ARE WRONG.

              You are completely wrong. As a business owner you may do as you wish, up to the point that you may NOT DISCRIMINATE.

            4. Most people of average IQ have more developed critical thinking abilities than you do, too, Mr “You Are A Legend In Your Own Mind”.

              Reminds me of the landmark article year ago entitled: _Incompetent But Unaware_. It talked about how some of the least competent people to do a particular task nevertheless fail to perceive their own incompetency.

            5. I did not attack your person. I attacked your inability to reason logically to a well thought through conclusion, and what that is consistent with the law.

    2. I came to a similar conclusion before reading this thread. I agree with Mr. Foster. The analogy is not exact, but Apple is saying WHO they will accept as customers nd who they want. I.e people who create adult products are not clean enough for Apple.

      1. Those same adult filmmakers or people creating x-rated products could code an app that meets all App Store guidelines and their app would be accepted. The rules aren’t about WHO, the rules are about WHAT. I’m not sure what’s so hard to understand about that different. It’s drop dead simple.

      2. The impetus is the bill that Congress has passed (and the President will surely sign) removing the absolute immunity previously granted by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Henceforth, online platforms and websites can be sued if a plaintiff (or the government) can make a claim that the site “knowingly assists, supports, or facilitates sex trafficking of children.”

        At a minimum, that will require sites to begin monitoring–and censoring–postings that might, even conceivably, be construed as related to that. More seriously, this is almost certainly the thin edge of a wedge that will eventually include other forms of antisocial communications.

        Anybody doing business in the cloud who isn’t preparing for the coming storm is very foolish. We have seen it in Apple’s control over apps and in Microsoft’s announcement this week that it will be censoring all of its cloud apps, including Office 365 and Skype.

  2. The baker who decides not to make a particular type of wedding cake available to anyone is a more analogous example. One can find porn on the iPhone, just not in the App Store. It guards against porn appearing undisclosed in Apps to which children may have access.

            1. Full belly laugh! Thanks, it made a Good Friday.

              I suspect it is the hit and run insult artist banned Citizen X lurking plague that changes his name on every post. Simply good for nothing …

    1. OBVIOUSLY, applewhinylittlebitch, Tim is not forcing you or anyone to do anything. There are plenty of other stores and plenty of other products to choose from. Why don’t you just go and do that, if Apple is so terrible?

      Clearly,
      – Either you think Apple is the best, but you just like to whine anyway.
      – Or you think Apple isn’t the best, in which case sticking around here really is some kind of sickness.

      1. Not on my iPad there isn’t! He’s forcing me to abide by community rules and community commerce.

        And I ask you yet again, why do you care what I think about Apple, but especially what I should be allowed to do on MY Apple device.

        1. See my post above. Did you read the iOS user agreement? You should read it again. Apple and other companies have successfully gotten millions of sheep looped into their Big Brother computing platforms. You think that iPad belongs to you? Ha! Apple has never considered that to be so. They let you hold it and recharge it. Unless you jailbroke it, everything that is installed or runs on it is Apple’s decision. Not yours. Everything you purchase is from Apple. Every piece of media is from Apple or an Apple affiliate that pays rent to Timmy and his Big Brother mafia. You chose this. Don’t act surprised now.

          1. Those are un-negotiated unilateral agreements without the benefit of legal counsel. Then there’s fair use laws.
            What you suggest would be far more appropriate if a built in jailbreak existed, shouldone disagree.

  3. The only problem with Tim Cook’s position is that on iOS you cannot install 3rd party apps unless they are in the Apple curated store. On a Mac you can install anything you want.

    If Apple allowed iOS users the ability to install from places other than the iOS app store his position is perfectly acceptable.

    1. So someone votes down but does not express an opinion. Not cool people.
      I am not advocating jailbreaking. I am saying his position in a closed environment (iOS) is not very defensible. Apple could allow the same kind of limits on the App store that they put on iTunes where you can filter what shows up.

  4. Cook is starting to sound more and more like a Southern Baptist minister. When is the white suit and jewel studded cane going to come out? How soon will he be reading from a solid gold iPad and tapping people on the head and healing them with it. GO FORTH AND CREATE!

    After brother Tim touched me with the golden iPad, I was filled the Holy Ghost of Steve and I drew this portrait of Barack Obama!

    It’s not that he doesn’t want porn, I can understand that. Apple has an image to maintain and wants one that reflects safety for children. It’s about the way he presents himself. The prayer hands while talking, for instance. All he’s missing are the beads.

    Hmmm… He’s advocating a similar position to the baker who doesn’t wish to make a cake for the gay couple. People who publish in the Apple store are customers of Apple as well, and Cook is saying to some people, your money isn’t good enough for us.

  5. A lot of money in porn. I would enable the option, but have it as opt in only after jumping through some hoops. Putting in your PIN or something. AR/VR would take off!

    1. Same iPhone, different question. The hypocrisy is breathtaking…

      You can use your iPhone to call a drug dealer, plan a robbery, locate a person for murder, but allowing a porn shop, or any alternate shop….whoa! That crosses the line!

      It’s censorship either way!

    2. As of the recent amendment to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, Apple can be sued by anyone who claims that the App Store is “facilitating” someone in activities related to child sex trafficking. That is so vague as to constitute a legal minefield. Any prudent company or person who provides any online services will be taking steps to keep their users from dragging them into a lawsuit.

      Section 230 still provides immunity for violence, but sex is a different matter. Apple could see this coming, which is why it keeps porn out of the App Store. Microsoft didn’t, which is why it is having to amend its policies to limit sexually explicit material on its platforms.

      1. First of all, that limitation is established by law, with democratic accountability, not my manufacturer. Lawmakers answer to everybody, not just a brand.

        But then, why doesn’t the same law cover talking on the same device?
        Yes, it’s a minefield, but our civil rights take precedence over their profits.

    3. Healthy, normal people can distinguish between game fantasy violence and actual violence. Otherwise most of the people in the world — well, at least young men — would all be psycho killers.

      And, by the way, porn is not a game.

    4. Indeed. Apple buys beats for 3 billion to reward a misogynist filthy mouthed rapper, distributes crap music with explicit hate filled lyrics. Itunes sells movies with explicit violence. Now gay ceo timmy says he’s decided he wants to be a moral gatekeeper. If Apple was consistent, it would censor its horrid music as well as its video.

      IOS sucks. The platforms for personal computing freedom are Linux, Mac, and Windows. Question is, with leaders like this, who knows how long Apple will bother to make Macs?

      1. Speaking of personal freedom …what do you care who someone has a consensual relationship with? Why do you think it is okay to try to put Apple’s CEO down by calling him gay? Very mature of you.

        Oh, right, you are a Nazi pro-freedom lover: you like freedom as long as it is for white, European, heterosexual male Apple haters.

          1. I did not mention any “rights”. I asked why you care …why you think it is okay to call someone gay as a derogatory term.

            You are a bigot. And an ass.

            1. Where specifically did I even infer it was okay?

              Though I otherwise agree with McDev’s comment, it was “Now gay ceo timmy says he’s decided he wants to be a moral gatekeeper.” that I was referring to as a point of disagreement.

              And in your case, “male Apple haters”. I repeat you’re a hypocrite.

            2. You said “Neither of you have that right”. Not exactly sure where the ‘neither of you’ reference came from, but the main thing is you are talking about a “right”. Except my comment never mentioned a “right”.

            3. One more thing, Mr Educated. Look up the difference between infer and imply. It is a question of direction. You may ‘imply’ something by what you say. But the reader would do the “inferring”. It depends which party is responsible for doing the action.

        1. I can see that in the Mac era. I can even see that as correct in the iPad as the what the netbook should be. Post PC, truck, and all the other parroted slogans though. No. Yo still have people saying an iPad is a PC.

            1. Not the first time a group is pushing a false narrative, Fusion GPS anyone?

              I’m treading a little softer on Easter, thanks for noticing …

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