App Story: Human Weather Rejected for Twitter F**k, Implemented Filter, Now in App Store (NSFW-L)

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?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

App Story: Human Weather Rejected for Twitter F**k, Implemented Filter, Now in App Store (NSFW-L)

1 Comment

Frak the filters... Just put a warning for apps that the experience can be altered by online content and that online content cannot be screened or checked and the user uses at his or her own risk. This really shows the stupidity of apple and the rediculousness of attempting to make the Internet politically correct. Normally government will force correctness. Is apple implementing this on their own accord? Just makes you wonder how much they care about the developers. From all of the things that have been happening it is evident that they could care less about the developers and are more concerned with themselves which may be a valid reason for such odd practices but in the end it is the users and developers who are losing out. Users and developers are the life blood of Apple. Apple really should wisen up and realize this. They feel they have all the power and truthfully they do.
Quick thought... Idk if there was any excuse given for the rejection of the south park app. But decency would be an obvious reason for the rejection. People want apps like that and they should have apps like that. I guess cable television is too lewd for apple's standards. Basically my thought is to take the power out of apples hands.... Everyone jailbreak!