Apple today informed photo sharing site 500px that both of their iPhone apps, 500px and ISO500 were being pulled from the App Store over concerns over nude photos. To date, the applications have seen over 1.2 million downloads. Their 500px app was in the middle of the review process and was contacted by Apple who informed them of the decision. According to Techcrunch, the Apple reviewer told the company that the update couldn’t be approved because it allowed users to search for nude photos in the app.
The companies COO Evgeny Techebotarev doesn’t dispute that it is feasible to find these types of images, despite 500px making it difficult to do so. Not so difficult that Apple’s App Store reviewers stumbled upon the material. Apparently, the 500px app defaults to a safe search mode that can only be bypassed by making a chance at the desktop site.
Techebotarev claries that while there are nude photos, they are not what one would classify as pornographic. Images of that nature, when reported, are deleted from the site and no longer accessible from the app. Apple responded to the removal with this quote and the disturbing claim of ‘possible child pornography’.
The app was removed from the App Store for featuring pornographic images and material, a clear violation of our guidelines. 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.
This was news to Techebotarev who said,
“We’ve never ever, since the beginning of the company, received a single complaint about child pornography. If something like that ever happened, it would be reported right away to enforcement agencies.”
They’ve got a lot of issues here, some of which should be solved by offering the app as for 17+. It’s not clear as to why Apple didn’t inform 500px of the possible child pornography. If it was indeed on the site, removal and notification of the proper authorities should have been paramount. Here’s hoping this gets sorted out as the site offers some truly beautiful photography that it would be a crime to see it gone for good from the App Store.