Apple taking risks with ‘Porncasts’ ? | iLounge News


Apple taking risks with ‘Porncasts’ ?

Following an iLounge editorial on the same topic last month, The Wall Street Journal’s Vauhini Vara has written an article [paid sub. req.] on the adult-oriented podcasts that can found in Apple’s iTunes directory. The podcasts, which some call “porncasts,” are packed with “raunchy sex banter, erotic storytelling sessions and reviews of pornographic websites,” Vara notes. Some industry experts say Apple is taking a big risk in accepting such content from amateurs. “Apple needs to be careful to protect its brand here,” says Ted Schadler, an analyst at Forrester Research. “The editorial function is just getting more and more important.”

“As podcasting reaches a more mainstream audience, the more risque audio shows—and Apple’s role in distributing them—could come under greater scrutiny,” reports Vara. “Apple declined to say whether any of its users have complained about the adult podcasts, which can be downloaded by anyone regardless of age. The company said it could potentially pull programs that it deems too explicit, but declined to say whether it has done so yet.”

Podcasters who submit their shows to iTunes are asked to mark their podcasts “explicit” during the submission process if they discuss adult material. However, Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said the company has no official guidelines for adult content and does not review every podcast submission. “She said Apple tries to review as many submissions as it can for ‘really obvious’ adult content,” Vara reports. “Listeners can click on a button marked ‘Report a Concern’ if they feel that a podcast isn’t marked as explicit and should be. ‘If for some reason we miss it, customers usually catch it,’ Ms. Kerris said.”

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Hmm, I like the idea. But then again I’m a guy. And I’m not very conservative.

Posted by Andrew on July 22, 2005 at 3:50 AM (CDT)


PLUS, I think we all saw this comming. And I wouldn’t be surprized to see Apple pull-it after a little while.

Posted by Andrew on July 22, 2005 at 3:52 AM (CDT)


While I am not listening to podcasts at all I would say the iTMS needs some age-authentification. Seriously, *IF* the whole thing is going video at any time it would be needed anyway, since any video service offering nothing but PG movies and below can hardly be successfull. Adults should have access to adult content, and adult content should be openly marked as such, so that those who want to avoid it can stay clear.

Posted by Bad Beaver on July 22, 2005 at 5:53 AM (CDT)


What happened to parental supervision? Shouldn’t the parents be the ones to monitor what the little kiddies are getting into? I think the iTMS has all the age authentication it really needs (having a credit card, unless I’m wrong there, don’t really use it much). Granted, the Pepsi codes made that one a bit greyer though. But anyway, kids could probably hear the same sorts of stuff sitting on a bench at a mall. If they see something on a podcast description and are curious…they’ve already heard about it. Kids are smarter than we usually give them credit for

Posted by Nick on July 22, 2005 at 7:41 AM (CDT)


As Nick said, the requirement to have a credit card or paypal account is somewhat of an age verification in the first place.  I think Apple should give parents to set up accounts for their kids that will autmatically filter out explicit material when their kids log-in.  Just because kids know about these things already doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try censor it.

Posted by LilAlienD on July 22, 2005 at 9:34 AM (CDT)


“Some industry experts say Apple is taking a big risk in accepting such content from amateurs.”
What does THAT mean? I guess the industry experts only think professional filth is appropriate.

Posted by yeah, right on July 22, 2005 at 10:16 AM (CDT)


Great! Great! I can’t wait! ^_^

Posted by Kuja on July 22, 2005 at 11:37 AM (CDT)


Hmm…. even though I am far from a prude, I think the credit card age verification would be the best compromise between keeping these risque podcast and appeasing parents.  I don’t support doing them away though; that’d be totally LAME.

Posted by joe on July 22, 2005 at 12:54 PM (CDT)


Couple things.

First, the mp3 files in these podcasts come from the author’s website, not apple’s, so your standard parental filter software will work just fine.

Second you do not need an account to subscribe to podcasts.

Third, Parents… watch your kids, I am tired of doing it for you!  You were the one that decided to have kids and take the repsonsibity for raising them, not me. Also when I was a young kid my parents were very careful on what I was allowed to watch/etc, and in general were able to prevent me from watching material they deamed in appropriate.  They were able to do it just fine, why can’t you?


Posted by CKer on July 22, 2005 at 1:17 PM (CDT)


A quick question for those of you trotting out the Magic Pixie Dust of Credit Card Verification: What is your plan for the “Subscribe to Podcast” feature that allows the entry of a podcast feed URL without going through the portal?

Posted by Brennan on July 22, 2005 at 3:24 PM (CDT)


CK - agreed.

Posted by mindflayer on July 22, 2005 at 4:56 PM (CDT)


I just mentioned the credit card verification for the music store. Works alright for that, but it’s still not as good as parental supervision - which is the only censorship we really need.

Posted by Nick on July 22, 2005 at 5:06 PM (CDT)


An age question is an OK idea, but it should be only for the ones marked explicit—meaning it’s up to the content creator to trigger the warning, not Apple.

What’s next, Safari and Firefox needing to pre-check web pages because they can view them? Google needing to pre-check web paged because they can find them?

Posted by Nagromme on July 22, 2005 at 6:10 PM (CDT)


I don’t see how that would work. podcast owners decide if their content is explicit or not, plus apple seems to have a hard time deciding if something is explicit or not. I’ve seen many songs without warnings that should have them.

Posted by *meep* on July 22, 2005 at 7:26 PM (CDT)


credit card verification is dumb. D. U. M. B.
On several counts. One, doesn’t that eliminate paypal as a payment option to the itms? Two, when I needed a credit card number to obtain illicit materials by phone or whatever when I was a randy teenager, I swiped the numbers from my pop and that was that. Three, who cares? I mean, really. Most of the right wing retards and left wing pinkos looking to limit speech are already behaving and speaking in ways that no child should emulate, but very often do, to the detriment of popular society. So what if they download a podcast of Ms Blue discussing how she got a friend off over the phone. More power to them, I say. Education. Parental oversight. Parental involvement.
Not ludicrous re-enactments of Soviet China and McCarthy-era America.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

Posted by anticensoring parent on July 22, 2005 at 10:11 PM (CDT)


This has absolutely nothing to do with Apple. Apple should continue to provide all and any podcasts. This is a technology with the power to circumvent the (currently corrupt) power-brokers of media. I think that the current democratic nature of podcasts should be preserved and censorship in any form should be vigourously opposed. If you don’t like the content of a podcast - don’t listen. The ability to get opposing viewpoints and some REAL reporting (which the current media are NOT providing) is far more important than the relatively minor inconvenience of stumbling on some cuss words (even though they are clearly marked as “explicit”).

Posted by Brad on July 23, 2005 at 2:20 AM (CDT)


is firefox or ie or safari or whatever web browser you use responsible for the content you look up? if a minor looks up porn using firefox is firefox at fault? no.

same thing. right? apple just provides a browser to find podcasts and a method to subscribing to them.

anyway. how do i find these porn casts? i need a good laugh.

Posted by Travis on July 23, 2005 at 9:25 PM (CDT)


personally a podcast doesnt really have to be good at all. i mean i listen to some podcasts and have a few on my ipod, but rarely listen to them. apple shouldnt censor anything and leave it the way it is. i mean if its a big freaking deal, just dont download it. porncasts or whatever doesnt need to be great to listen to.podcasts personally is kinda dumb. its just a piss poor excuse for apple not putting a radio tuner on the ipod.

Posted by Neftaly on July 25, 2005 at 12:21 AM (CDT)


bah! I can’t find any… lol

Posted by Kloan on July 26, 2005 at 3:57 AM (CDT)

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