San Francisco (CA) – Apple has censored an English dictionary due to its supposedly “objectionable content.” According to Ninjawords developer Phil Crosby, Club Cupertino rejected an initial build of the educational iPhone app just two days after it was submitted.
“We were rejected for objectionable content. They provided screenshots of the words ‘s***’ and ‘f***’ showing up in our dictionary’s search results,” Crosby told Fireball’s John Gruber. “What’s interesting is that we spent a good deal of time making it so that you must type vulgar words in their entirety, and only then will we show you suggestions in the search results. For instance, if you type ‘fuc,’ you will not see ‘f***’ as a suggestion.”
Crosby explained that the dictionary was rejected twice more before Apple deigned to accept a modified binary.
“Someone from Apple called Dave [Crosby’s colleague] to tell him that we were being rejected again for illicit content, and no matter what we did to our dictionary, it will have to be 17+ to make it to the App Store. We gave in and said fine, hoping that we could get on the App Store immediately since the solution to their rejection was a simple metadata change. However, the App Store reviewer would have none of that. We would have to resubmit an entirely new binary and get to the back of the queue before they would look at it again,” said Crosby.
He added that a heavily censored version of Ninjawords was finally approved for sale on July 13.
It should be noted that Apple has recently banned or censored a number of popular applications, including:
Apple’s enigmatic approval process was harshly criticized by an outraged Trent Reznor in May, who urged the prudish corporation to “think [its] policies through.”
“You can buy The Downward Spiral on iTunes, but you can’t allow an iPhone app that may have a song with a bad word somewhere in it. Come on Apple, think your policies through and for f***’s sake get your app approval scenario together,” Reznor wrote in an official blog post.