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Steve Jobs says 'No Porn' for iPhone and iPad Apps

By Randy Sly
May 17th, 2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

" (W)e do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone...You know, there's a porn store for Android....You can download nothing but porn. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That's a place we don't want to go - so we're not going to go there". (Steve Jobs)

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - In a response to a heated email from Gawker Media's Ryan Tate, Steve Jobs remained resolute on his "no porn" policy for iPhones and iPads.

Tate's Valleywag Column on Gawker.com stated, "I didn't plan to pick a fight with Steve Jobs last night. It just sort of happened: An iPad advertisement ticked me off; I sent the Apple CEO an angry email; he told me about 'freedom from porn.'"

Tate asked him what Bob Dylan, if he was 20, would think about his company. Would he think that the iPad really has anything to do with "revolution?"

Jobs replied, "Yep, freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom. The times they are a changin', and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away."

The writer did confess, "I didn't identify myself as a writer for Gawker in my initial email, sent from my ryantate.com email address. I eventually made my affiliation clear, and Jobs didn't seem bothered."

This strategy may have been come from the fact that Gawker media was the company that paid for a stolen new generation iPhone left in a bar and taken by a patron. The issue is still being investigated.

The co-founder of Apple computer has been under fire from a number of tech writers over a statement he made during a question-and-answer session in April.

"gdgt" co-founder Ryan Block asked "Are there any plans to allow unsigned applications on the iPhone?" Jobs restated Apple's commitment that no unsigned applications (applications which are not approved by Apple) would be able to be downloaded by their devices.

"You know, there's a porn store for Android." Jobs said. "You can download nothing but porn. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That's a place we don't want to go - so we're not going to go there."

"Wired" also ran a story in April critical of Apple's narrow view of what types of applications they would allow, particularly pointing out the rejection of an application from editorial cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Fiore, who was told that "lampooning public figures violated [Apple's] terms of service."

Wired went on to state that the company was going to "purge its App Store of content that included nudity, a retroactive ban that included apps from respected German publications such as Bild and Der Spiegel."

TechCrunch has been following this issue closely and posted an email from a frustrated user who was upset about decision, stating that "Apple's role isn't moral police."

In his response to the user, Jobs said, "Fiore's app will be in the store shortly. That was a mistake. However, we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone."

Many critics of Apple's decision feel that the content held on any device should be determined by the owner. If the owner wants to download immoral material, that's his business.

On CatholicVoteAction.org, Joshua Mercer responded by saying, "This is so atypical of most businessmen. Profit is usually the only consideration. Hotel companies, for example, love the profit that comes from selling adult movies. They hide behind language like: "In-room movies are a revenue stream. This is a business matter."

"Thankfully for consumers, there is one smartphone that didn't want to do business with this sleazy industry. Kudos to Steve Jobs and Apple." This editor would join with Joshua and say, "Amen."

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Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online. He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

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