According to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Apple has banned an issue of a comic from the Comixology app.
“After extended review, Apple has decided to ban Image Comics’ Sex Criminals #2 from ComiXology’s iOS app based on undisclosed violations of their content guidelines.”
Apparently, Apple sent the following statement to the publisher of the comic:
We found that one or more of your In-App Purchases contains content that many audiences would find objectionable, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.
I find it interesting that Apple can ban such content, while they continue to sell plenty of tit magazines via Newsstand. They’re not easy to find in iTunes, but if you look at the Newsstand store on an iOS device, and browse the “Men’s Interest” category, you get plant of magazines that are much racier than the Sex Criminals comic.
I doubt that Balloons Magazine is about hot-air ballooning. Or that America’s Kandy is about making fudge. In fact, both magazines’ description says that it contains “Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity.” If Apple allows this, why don’t they allow a risqué comic to be sold on its stores?
If you look at ebooks, you’ll also find a number of titles that would certainly be at least as racy as the banned comic:
But, hey, they redacted the word “Tits” in the first book’s title, so that’s okay.
There are plenty of tit magazines in the Newsstand store, and Apple seems to have no problem selling them. While there are restrictions available regarding downloading apps, movies and books – parents can choose to allow iOS and Mac users to download apps limited to a certain age – I don’t see any such restrictions on magazines (unless they are considered to be books). Since these restrictions exist, and Apple is clearly selling sexual content in one part of their store, they should be more consistent. I’m not suggesting Apple should allow the sale of pornography, but some of these magazines would be classified as porn by some people.
Also, if you look at the two books above – or any of the books in the “Erotica” category that I glanced at (for research purposes), you’ll see this:
Most of the porn books I looked at have no age ratings, so even with parental controls, kids of any age can buy them or get free samples of any of. It looks like Apple’s asleep at the wheel here.
Apple’s got a double standard here, and should really straighten this out.
Update: As a commenter pointed out, Apple sells Sex Criminals #2 in the iBookstore. How’s that for hypocrisy?