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Apple starts pulling Reddit clients for iOS due to NSFW content

by Killian Bell | April 12, 2016April 12, 2016 4:00 am PST

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Apple has begun removing third-party Reddit clients from the App Store because they can be used to view NSFW content. Eggplant and Narwhal are two of the apps that have disappeared, while Reddit’s official client remains for now.

Apple has been informing the developers behind these apps that they violate App Store guideline 18.2, which states, “Apps that contain user generated content that is frequently pornographic (e.g. “Chat Roulette” Apps) will be rejected.”

However, Apple has been inconsistent when it comes to enforcing this rule. While Eggplant, Narwhal, and other third-party Reddit clients have been pulled, the network’s official app and Alien Blue, a client it acquired back in 2014, are still available to download.

What makes this rule even more ridiculous is that it could also be broken by the long list of web browsers available on iOS. Chrome, Firefox, and even Apple’s own Safari can be used to view pornographic content, and yet these are considered to be acceptable.

Other social apps, such as Twitter and Snapchat, can also be used to view NSFW content.

The difference with these Reddit apps is that they provide a toggle that lets you specify whether or not you want NSFW content to be censored. Doing so hides NSFW posts and makes it more difficult to open them accidentally when you’re browsing Reddit in public.

“According to the developers behind Narwhal, Eggplant and Reddit’s official app, Apple asked them to remove the NSFW toggle in their software,” reports The Next Web.

By removing this toggle, all NSFW content would show up by default, and users couldn’t hide it within an app. The problem with this is that even subreddits that are normally completely innocent can sometimes contain adult content.

The other option for users is to hide NSFW content through the Reddit website, which prevents it appearing inside mobile apps when you’re using the same account. However, this means you can’t toggle it at any time within a Reddit app.

“It seems to be a case of Apple fussing over semantics and causing distress for Reddit users and developers alike,” adds The Next Web.

For now, then, the only thing developers can do is remove that NSFW toggle and warn users about its disappearance. But this is yet another example of inconsistent and confusing App Store guidelines that Apple seems to enforce at random.

The Next Web

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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