Following up on the story about Tweetie 1.3 being rejected because an Apple reviewer saw the word f**k in the Twitter Trends tab, developer Crowded Road contacted us with the story of their app, Human Weather, which was initially rejected by Apple for a similar reason: someone happened to have dropped the f-bomb in the Twitter-stream while it was being reviewed.
Crowded Road went to the trouble -- and no doubt cost in man/hours -- to implement a filter for said reject-worthy words, and is now available FREE in the App Store [iTunes link]. But so what? As the developers themselves rightly told us:
This kind of policy is doomed to fail simply because it is impossible to police. Apple is only check the app content through a random test as part of their approval process. Of course, looking for “offensive” content as part of an approval process is futile because user generated content is both limitless and unpredictable.
No doubt this is correct, as creative internet users already know. F**k getting filtered? Fug, fukc, fack, fock, f u c k, and limitless other combinations impenetrable to machines but easily parsed by human pattern-matching brains, will easily slip through to offend those easily offended and amuse those easily amused alike.
We'd typically finish up with a rant about how the App Store could be improved, made more transparent with clearly defined criteria, even establish a ratings system for apps as they have for iTunes media, but really, even they must know this by now, right?