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Apple Bans 2ch for “Hate Speech & Porn”

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Apple has banned all 2ch-related Apps from its app store for offering too-ready access to porn and hurtful remarks.

Their decision was reported by the developers of a 2ch.net browser app, one of several listed, who suddenly found their product banned.

They report that Apple withdrew permission for their app to be listed as “it is our policy not approve apps which facilitate access to pornographic images or violent expressions.”

Even Apple had to address why it would permit Internet browsers or Twitter apps to offer access to such content whilst banning 2ch-browsers – it says the difference is down to “the frequency and ease of access to” porn and slander on 2ch.

Apple also states that it will be getting rid of any other apps which facilitate access to the site, leaving users with no option but to use a browser or give up on their unhealthy non-Apple approved content altogether.

Apple’s decision means that such apps will no longer be listed on its marketplace, and that no further updates will be possible for them, although (for now at least) it will not be remotely disabling existing installations.

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2ch’s atrocious design and purely text-based interface have long supported a large ecosystem of popular 2ch-browsers, plugins and external archive sites, so forcing users to rely on a traditional browser for their 2ch-browsing needs is likely to prove a major inconvenience.

The majority of boards on 2ch itself are concerned with uncontroversial content, but anonymous participation, nearly non-existent moderation throughout and the presence of some highly controversial boards have ensured it has maintained its “underground” image despite its massive popularity in Japan.

There has not surprisingly been a great deal of criticism of the decision on 2ch itself – most of whom now seem resigned to either using their existing apps without updates for as long as possible, or else switching to Android.

Why Apple would block 2ch whilst allowing the likes of Pixiv, DMM and others has also been the subject of some speculation – reasons other than Apple’s hatred of porn and free speech are thought likely to be at play.

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