Steve Jobs Says iPad Revolution Means ‘Freedom from Porn’

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers, says his company will not be a party to the pornography industry and hopes that the iPad and iPhone revolution will help lead to a porn-free world.

Jobs reiterated his position in a heated e-mail exchange with Ryan Tate, a writer for Gawker.com, which follows news and gossip in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. Tate, who admitted that he was home alone and slightly inebriated at the time, took issue with a television ad calling the iPad a “revolution” and fired off an e-mail to Jobs.

“If Dylan [American songwriter Bob Dylan is one of Jobs’ favorite musicians] was 20 today, how would he feel about your company? Would he think the iPad had the faintest thing to do with ‘revolution?’ Revolutions are about freedom,” Tate wrote, not expecting a response from Jobs.

However, Jobs did respond to Tate, triggering an e-mail duel. “Yep, freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom,” responded Jobs. “The times they are a changin’, and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is.”

However, Tate accused Jobs of “imposing” his “morality” by having Apple forbid pornographic applications for iPad. “I don’t want ‘freedom from porn.’ Porn is just fine! And I think my wife would agree,” fired back Tate – who later said he regretted mentioning his wife.

Jobs shot back, “You might care more about porn when you have kids.”

Apple’s CEO pointed out that competitor Microsoft has the right to make whatever rules it wants on its platforms; developers who do not comply simply go elsewhere, and can do the same with Apple.

“We’re just doing what we can to try and make (and preserve) the user experience we envision,” said Jobs. “You can disagree with us, but our motives are pure.”

In an exchange with customer Matthew Browning posted by Techcrunch.com in April, Jobs had defended Apple’s crusade to keep pornography off its products.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy [an] Android phone,” he said, referring to the product of competitor Google, which has permitted a pornography store app for its smartphone.

Apple’s iPad and iPhone do not offer complete freedom from pornography – objectionable material can still be accessed via the Internet, and may be attainable through iTunes - but most pornographic clips cannot, since they require Adobe Flash products, which Apple refuses to support for a variety of reasons.

“Clearly opposed to pornography, Jobs surely realizes he can’t make it go away completely,” commented Sam Diaz, senior editor of ZDNET, last month. “But he doesn’t have to contribute to the spreading of it – especially in a place where children often shop using a technology that many parents still don’t understand well enough to police.”

Apple requires application designers to adhere to a company policy that could be described as “pro-family:” The iPhone Developer Program License Agreement (sec 3.3.17) states that “applications may be rejected if they contain content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, sounds, etc.) that in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be considered obscene, pornographic, or defamatory.”

Gawker reported that Apple twice rejected the app “Gay New York: 101 Can’t-Miss Places” because of its inclusion of obscene and pornographic imagery.

Apple began a major crackdown on app designers in February, purging objectionable apps that may have fallen through the cracks.

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  • http://prairiehawk.me PrairieHawk

    The iPad is a nifty and useful piece of machinery, and now I like it even more.

  • http://www.RomanCatholicInfo.com jamespereira

    It’s always encouraging to read about successful CEOs who are against mainstream ideas. Porn is so mainstream now that anyone who objects to it is called a prude and anti-freedom. Porn is slavery.

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