Maybe you heard all the buzz about the new iPhone 4 last week and even saw Steve Jobs’ presentation of it. What you may not have heard is about how Steve Jobs is fighting to keep porn off the iPhone and iPad.
Is Steve Jobs taking heat for this? Absolutely. Could he make a ton of money by offering porn on his products’ app stores? Yes. But sometimes you have to take a stand. So-called “apps,” or programs, are wildly popular and can be downloaded through Apple’s iTunes store. There’s an application for nearly everything — including news, sports, maps and restaurants — but Jobs says the store won’t offer porn. Approximately 5,000 sexually explicit applications were removed from the store early this year after the Parents Television Council, the conservative group, urged citizens to complain to Apple. The PTC noted that children often browse the store, looking for games.
Jobs took a stance against porn when the iPhone was released in 2007 and has reiterated that stance at least three times during last month while also taking a dig at a competitor, Google’s Android phone.
“The Apple CEO can expect further criticism from fans of pornography; but the PTC applauds Steve Jobs for his bold and courageous stance in favor of promoting decency and protecting children,” the Parents Television Council said.
Asked during an April interview with reporters whether Apple would keep in place its strong restrictions on making applications for the iPhone, Jobs said, “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.”
He wrote e-mailer Matthew Browing in April, “We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy Android.”
Then, in May, Jobs defended Apple’s new iPad — which also uses applications — from charges that the product does not give consumers enough freedom. The e-mailer, Ryan Tate, had written Jobs saying that “revolutions are about freedom,” implying that iPad’s commercials touting a revolution were off base.
Jobs retorted, “Yep, freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom.” Jobs later wrote during the exchange, “You might care more about porn when you have kids …”
So, what say you? Are you in favor of Jobs and Apple taking a stand against porn on their products and trying to protect our kids or do you think he crossed the line?
* Note – some quotes were taken from an article published by Baptist Press