Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have removed the 500px mobile application from their App Store, over concerns that it makes it to easy to search for nude photos. They also removed ISO500 application, which was recently acquired by the Toronto-based company.
According to Evgeny Tchebotarev, COO of 500px, apps features a collective of over 1 million downloads, whereas ISO500 has over 200,000. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) removed the app around 1:00 am Eastern Standard Time.
These significant changes were made after an App Store reviewer commented that the recent updated iOS version enables users to search for nude photos. Tchebotarev admitted that this was partially true, but he also said that the app was designed to make it harder. Unlike some applications where a user can just look up such photos after launching the app, 500px mobile was defaulted on safe search mode and the offending photos are hidden. If users were so inclined to remove the safe search setting, they would have to do it on a desktop computer.
Tchebotarev explained the reason was to prevent kids from coming across nude images on the app. Despite the fact that he mentioned nude images are a concern, he still wants to remind users that the aforementioned images are not pornographic. He stated, "We don’t allow pornographic images. If something is purely pornographic, it’s against our terms and it’s deleted. It’s not about pornography, it’s about fine art."
If a user does find an offensive or pornographic image on the app, they are requested to identify and report it. For now, 500px is working on a technology that will recognize nude images (something like facial recognition for nudity), which would enable the images to be easily identified and tagged, so they don't end up in search.
Despite their current efforts and upcoming changes, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) still decided to remove the app from their App Store. Apple recently provided an official statement regarding the removal of the app, they mentioned that they've asked the developer to create safetyguards on the app.