Why, Apple, Why? POTUSA’s App With Obscenities OK, South Park App Not OK

Is it Apple’s screening team? A lack of attention to whatever standards the App Store has this week for approving or denying apps? Or something else?

Earlier this week, it emerged that Apple had denied App Store access to a long-brewing, officially developed South Park application, citing “potentially offensive” content, presumably some of the show’s streaming video clips. Back in December, Apple did the same with a book application, noting that some of the language inside was graphic.

Today, a music streaming application by The Presidents of the United States of America appeared in the App Store, presumably after someone at Apple listened to the music and gave it the OK. But how could they? All it took to find “potentially offensive” content inside was a click on the second Song List, which contains—actually, randomly started with, in our case—the song “Kitty,” verses of which contain profanity. Some users might well have an issue with another track Boll Weevil, a track from Froggystyle that ends by damning god. To seriously religious folks, that’s a no-no—definitely offensive. And as Charles Starrett notes, what about Pandora, a fantastic app that streams “potentially offensive” content from various artists all the time?

To be very clear: we have no problem with this band or its music. We’re not offended by the lyrics. But we also have no problem with South Park. We just don’t know why a music app with “potentially offensive” content gets greenlighted and a South Park video app doesn’t. Is it selective enforcement, South Park’s ratio of “potentially offensive” to “non-offensive” content, or something else?

Any thoughts, readers?

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