Apple’s App Store rejected the app for social network and free-speech Twitter alternative Gab, claiming that it “includes pornographic content” posted by users.
“We are writing to let you know the results of your appeal for your app, Gab for iOS,” replied Apple to the submission. “Your app includes pornographic content. Please refer to the attached screenshot (Note, the screenshot includes explicit content). Apps with explicit content and themes are not appropriate for the App Store.”
“While we understand your app may include mature content, the content provided in the previous screenshot is not appropriate for the App Store in any situation at any rating. Please ensure this content is removed, any similar content is removed, and you are monitoring and filtering content that is similar in nature,” the notice states. “As stated in section 1.2 of the guidelines, your app must include ‘A method for filtering objectionable material from being posted to the app.'”
The image in question was a photograph of a nude porn star in a sexual position, clearly marked by the user who posted it with a “#NSFW” hashtag which can be filtered out.
Gab CEO Andrew Torba criticized Apple for rejecting the app based on pornographic user content when popular social networks currently on the store, such as Twitter, frequently feature porn and not-safe-for-work posts.
“The double standards of Silicon Valley are on full display with this app store rejection from Apple,” said Torba in an email to Breitbart Tech. “Apps like Tumblr, Reddit, and Twitter are flooded with pornographic content and allowed to remain on the App store.”
“Gab empowers users to filter out this type of content, mute users who share it, and also features a reporting system to flag illegal content,” he continued. “Apple went out of their way to seek out this content and find any reason to reject our app. We will continue to appeal this decision and defend free speech for everyone. In the meantime, Gab can be accessed from any mobile browser as always.”
Torba, who was previously banned from a Silicon Valley group after his support of Donald Trump made other members feel “unsafe,” also publicly addressed the situation on Gab, declaring that the site won’t “be held under their thumb.”
“You all wondered why we went with a Gab web version first? Just look at this nonsense Apple is putting us through,” posted Torba to his official account. “We will not be held under their thumb, nor that of Google. We will call out double standards and keep fighting to get our app on the App Stores.”
Torba has disputed Apple’s ruling, pointing out the hypocrisy of allowing user-posted porn on some platforms and not others, while also listing the self-filtering options that Gab offers users. The app currently remains banned from the store.