There's a Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On in the App Store

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wobble iphone censorshipJon Atherton, who does promo work for Glentwood Pty Ltd., is accusing Apple of censorship because the company has asked him to remove "boobs" and "booty" from the developer's Wobble app description. Wobble can be used to make body parts shake like Jello. Atherton says Apple gave his app a second look after Wobble topped the sales chart in Japan.

Apple has had a policy from day one that bans any app that it deems sexually explicit or non-family-friendly. Apps that feature scantily clad women, let alone shaking their body parts, are no-nos.

Wobble slipped into the App Store by way of a loophole. It doesn't contain images — you grab them from your Camera Roll. Select one or two regions in an image, pinch and drag the regions to position them, shake your iPhone or iPod touch and things wobble. If you use your imagination for a nanosecond, you can see the possibilities of an app like this one.

Writes Atheron writes on his ChilliFresh blog:

I just got a call from a nice fellow in developer relations who pointed out that we 'need' to remove any reference to both BOOBS and BOOTY in our marketing texts. When I firmly challenged Apple censoring Wobble he pointed out that Wobble and Apple had an agreement that we needed to comply with.

Apple doesn't have a problem with the app — it's the description that contains "boobs" and "booty" that it objects to, Atherton says. How is that different than music titles, which contain similar words, in iTunes, Atherton wants to know.

Doing a search for “Boobs” in iTunes returns 143 results--many of them marked explicit, a search for “Booty” returns 150 items. Not surprisingly Wobble appears at the top of the list in both search terms. there are hundreds of songs in the charts that use the words Booty and Boobies. I asked “Why are Apps different?” – response, I’m only here to talk to you about the Appstore and can’t comment on iTunes.

Atherton revised his description in the App Store to read: You can make (censored) and (censored) jiggle and bounce like real when you shake your phone.

However, read the bulleted points and you'll still find the line: "Watch in amazement as boobs and booty bounce to life."

Looks like Atherton will probably be hearing again from that "nice fellow" before long.

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