Apple pulls third-party Reddit apps over NSFW toggle, quickly adds them back

Apple pulls third-party Reddit apps over NSFW toggle, quickly adds them back

Apple has drawn the ire of the Reddit community after suddenly dropping popular third-party Reddit clients from the app store over their ‘not safe for work (NSFW)’ filters. Apple informed the creators of Narwhal, Antenna, Eggplant and BaconReader that their apps were removed from the app store for violating clause 18.2 of the App Review Guidelines, which prohibits apps from displaying “user generated content that is frequently pornographic.” Rick Harrison, co-creator of Narwhal, told MacStories it was odd that third-party Reddit apps were removed after being available for months but Reddit’s official app, which launched last week, wasn’t pulled despite Apple contacting Reddit over the same concerns. “I reached out to Reddit asking them if they knew anything, and they informed me that they did not request Apple to pull these apps, and they were also receiving issues from Apple about 18.2,” Harrison said. “I think that Apple did not pull their app because they are a big company and were recently featured. As shown time and time again, Apple does not really care whatsoever about indie developers. From taking 30 percent of barely any revenue to rejecting apps based on features that have been available for 18+ months.”
All of the apps that were initially pulled seem to have been restored, with some of the developers reporting that they have removed the NSFW toggle option from their settings. Eggplant’s developer expressed confusion that the version of his app that includes the NSFW toggle is the one that was made available for download while the one without that was submitted in response to the complaint shows as “Waiting for Review.” It should be noted that regardless of the app used, NSFW content can still be displayed within the app. Apple’s issue seems to be the ability to turn on NSFW content from within the app itself. As multiple users and developers have pointed out, the change simply means that whether users see NSFW content displayed is now reliant on the individual user’s Reddit account settings, instead of their preferences within the app.

Apple hasn’t commented other than to tell developers, “It is not appropriate to display pornographic content. It would be appropriate to remove the toggle and pornography present within the app.” Reddit said it was surprised by the notice since its NSFW filter was “a feature we previously refined with Apple’s help,” suggesting all third-party apps simply remove the setting.

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