In a shocking decision yesterday, Apple decided to reject a new update for the popular photography app 500px because some images contain nudity. Here at PadGadget, we absolutely love 500px and its affiliated website.
While there are random skin shots floating around on the website, they aren’t easily accessible in the app. Why Apple decided that this app was inappropriate is mind-boggling. We’re not talking about “Girls Gone Wild” here. Even the nudist of nude images are tasteful. They are fashion and high art photos.
According to TechCrunch, the iOS app was in the review process for a minor update when Apple sent word that it would not be approved “because it allowed users to search for nude photos in the app.” While that is true, it isn’t exactly easy to do so.
The app includes a filter that doesn’t automatically let nude photos through. Users have to go to the 500px website and change their user settings in order to be able to unlock nude images.
So, 500px goes out of their way to make it reasonably difficult to search for nude photos. You have to intentionally be trying to find them. Your grandma isn’t going to accidentally stumble across something shocking. But even if she did, the type of nude photos she would see are tasteful and artistic.
500px COO Evgeny Tchebotarev told TechCrunch that anything that isn’t artistic in nature is deleted from the website. “It’s not about pornography,” he said. “It’s about fine art.”
Apple provided TechCrunch with an official statement on why it removed 500px from the app store:
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.
500px told Apple it could make necessary changes to address the issue, but it would take a day. Apple couldn’t wait that long and pulled the app. Tchebotarev told TechCrunch that the changes have already been made and the app has been resubmitted to Apple for review.
I’ve had 500px on my iPad since the day it launched in the app store. I use it regularly as a photo display at my desk. The images are breathtaking. I’ve never seen a single image that even the most conservative of people would consider inappropriate. Hopefully, this will be rectified soon. It would be a shame if Apple permanently removed 500px from the App Store.