Apple pulls photo-sharing app over porn concerns

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Apple has pulled 500px's photo-sharing apps from the App Store, saying it's too easy to find pornography.

The apps - which have been downloaded almost a million times  - in theory allows users to search the site for nude photos, of which it has around 70,000. The apps had been available in the App Store for 16 months.

"It’s had that for over a year. And they haven’t communicated with us at all. It’s all really inconsiderate and unfair," tweeted the company's Alex Flint. "Before removing a million+ download app, they should probably do some research and communication."

500px says that it offered to change the apps to answer Apple's concerns - but that Apple refused to wait for the 24 hours or so this would require, and pulled them anyway.

500px's COO, Evgeny Tchebotarev, told TechCrunch that it's not particularly easy to search for nudity on the site - for a start, safe search is the default setting. Disabling it means visitng the site to make a specific change. In any case, he said, the images were artistic in nature; anything pornographic was deleted.

But in a statement to CNET, Apple said there was more to the story than met the eye.

"The app was removed from the App Store for featuring pornographic images and material, a clear violation of our guidelines," spokesman Tom Neumayr said.

"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."