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Apple Removes 500px Photo App Over Pornography Fears

Internet Pornography © jwblinn - Fotolia
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Apple pulls popular photo service from the App Store after customer complaints

Apple has removed 500px, a popular smartphone photography app, from its App Store over fears it could be used to view pornographic images and possibly indecent images of children.

500px has been downloaded nearly one million times since it was first released in October 2011, but Apple has now called the application a “clear violation” of its guidelines.

500px App Store removal

Porn - Shutterstock - © jaymastApple pulled the app around 6am this morning following discussions relating to an updated version of 500px.

“The app was removed from the App Store for featuring pornographic images and material, a clear violation of our guidelines,” said Apple in a statement. “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.”

“We’re working with Apple to resolve,” said 500px in a Twitter post. “Child pornography has never been an issue on 500px.”

The Canadian developer admitted to TechCrunch that although nude images can be viewed through 500px, they were filtered through a safe search function, which is turned on by default, unlike other services such as Instagram. To turn this setting off, users had to visit the 500px website and explicitly request the change.

500px currently relies on its community to identify inappropriate images, but says that it is looking to strengthen such measures by working on a facial recognition equivalent for nudity.

Apple has previously removed a number of apps in the past for ‘objectional material’, chiefly sexual content. Google employs a more laissez-faire attitude with the Google Play store and at the time of writing, 500px was still available to Android users.

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  1. Whether a company approves or not of pornography, provided its legal and you agree to viewing it, then a company has absolutely no right to impose its own moral views on whether you can use an app or not. This is especially true when a company has a very large market share as Apple does.

    Its a deliberate attempt to limit
    free speech – pornography today, what else tomorrow?

    With the rise of the HTML5 app – Apple might well be fighting a losing battle on this anyway!