Parents will begin singing the Hallelujah chorus if Apple’s latest patent comes to light, which would prevent any incoming texts found to contain objectionable content.
The description of the patent includes “systems, devices, and methods” that would create an automatic filtering system to block out “objectionable content.”
“For example, users such as children may send or receive messages (intentionally or not) with parentally objectionable language,” reads the patent.
It also includes reference to a parental control application, which would let parents set specific criteria for what type of content can and cannot be transmitted over the device.
The patent doesn’t specify exactly what it defines as “objectionable language.” It would be easy enough to put up a red flag on certain four-letter words, but what about sexually explicit texts? Or how about users who simply put an asterisk in the middle of an expletive?
It seems like it would be a rather unwieldy technology to actually try to create any sort of useful text-monitoring system. However, it does fit in with Apple’s staunch position against explicit content on the iPhone. It will not allow any apps that have overtly sexual or obscene language or visual content.
When it comes to teens with raging hormones, though, it would take the technological equivalent of the Great Wall of China to completely prevent sexting.