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Why Did Apple Apparently Send Porn To This Unsuspecting App Developer?

Why Did Apple Apparently Send Porn To This Unsuspecting App Developer?
[Base Photo: Flickr user Eduardo Gaviña]

Complaining about Apple’s process for approving new content for the app store is something of a sport among developers. The process, they say, is too strict, takes too much time, and interferes with the “launch-fast-and-iterate” product philosophy.

But Carl Smith’s complaint stands out. He says that Apple, in the process of reviewing his app for approval, sent porn to him and the employees of his development company.

A screencast of the message in question (reviewed by yours truly, in an open office, no less!), shows Apple notifying Smith’s team via iTunes Connect that its app violates several terms of service. Among the complaints is that the app, which allows users to search photos from Instagram, contains objectionable content. “Please see attached screenshot/s for more information,” it says. The attachments are labeled “Screenshot_1” and “Screenshot_2,” which are rather mild titles for the photos (you’ll have to take our word for it).

Smith was surprised–and felt uncomfortable as an employer in a professional setting. “If it was an employee who had done it, I would have fired the employee,” he tells Fast Company. “If it were an client who had done it, I would fire the client. But a lot of the whole economy of the company is built around working with Apple.”

Believing Apple would not respond if he raised the issue privately (the company didn’t, for instance, respond to a request for comment on this story), Smith put the whole story on Medium.”Please help me get the word to the upper echelon at Apple who would probably be as shocked as I am that they are sending porn to their customers,” he wrote. “There is a much better way to protect people from offensive material.”

“We haven’t heard back from Apple,” he now says, “but I have a feeling we will.”SK