iPhone iPr0n: Battle Begins For Control of the Mobile Adult Web

iPhone 2.0 Parental Controls

Newsflash: There's porn on the internet. The iPhone brings you just the internet. Now, with tortoise-like speed, the rocket scientists over at Time seem to have put 1 and 1 together and come up with ZOMGiPR0nZ!!11 Mobile erotica. The pornet in your pocket. Seems people are even -- gasp! -- Googletubing for it!

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, because, frankly, I'm not a sociologist, and I can't tell you if North American faux-puritanism, divided by ultra-conservatives perpetually getting their hands caught in the proverbial cookie jar, multiplied by institutionalized madonna/whore complexes, all equals a continental multiple-personality disorder so confusing it makes the average episode of Lost seem like a linear 1970s serial drama.

How so? Read on while I rant on... after the break.

What I can tell you, without being an economist either, is that there's a boatload of money to made in pornography -- both defending and decrying it. (And often both, as Captain Family may well spend the day fund-raising a righteous protest only to rush home at night, whip out the credit card, and get his Gonzo on).

And I can certainly say, without being a porntrepreneur, that the first racy code was likely programmed for Apple's revolutionary internet device somewhere between Steve Jobs saying i and Phone on the Macworld stage way back in 2007. And by a 13 year old no less. In between breaking Blu-Ray encryptions. For porn.

So is this, as doubtlessly many pundits will claim, a reason to panic?

No. It's just another in a long list of reasons to parent.

Of course the internet has content -- pornographic, violent, cruel, hateful, duplicitous and otherwise -- that is utterly inappropriate for children (and it doesn't take the Dali Lama to argue a lot of adults would be better off unexperiencing them as well). The world is a dark dangerous place, online and off. It's a parent's job to keep their kids out of the alleys, and off the hitch-hiking, and away from the saber-tooth tigers, and no where near the internet pr0n.

Unfortunately, that means getting daddy off his Xbox and mommy off her RAZR long enough to remember they have a kid buried somewhere under all the techno-babysitters money can unfortunately buy. (Hey, TiVo-to-go up some 50s sitcoms sometime for a refresher on what it looks like to have more than one family member stationary in the same room).

And if they do, Apple offers all sorts of parental controls for their iPhone. For the Mobile Safari browser. For the iTunes store. For content ratings. And what about the argument that poor, addle brained parents who can't even program their TiVo's might not know how to activate parental controls on their child's iPhone? Apple even provides a parental control simple enough for them -- don't buy an iPhone for your child.

(And while you're at it, put their computer in the living room, walk up behind them at random intervals, and don't let them out of a Linux Live CD sandbox. I don't need little Jimmy's XP becoming spambot #876,762,912,662, b'okay daddy Luddite?)

Now excuse me while I go lock you out of, and myself into, the mother load of haptic hedonism...

That's the rant, and I am out of here...


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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

iPhone iPr0n: Battle Begins For Control of the Mobile Adult Web


I find stories like that to be nothing short of an insult to the intelligent population of the world. Since the day I became a parent, just under a year ago, I get even more pissed than I used to hen I read them. How a well regarded piece of journalistic literature like Time Magazine can reduce itself to "report" on such a stupid concept is beyond me.
The Internet has been a haven for porn since its entrance into the public sector, and Time now feels a need to report on how the iPhone is good for looking at it? Wow. The phone has a world class mobile browser, why wouldn't it be, and what took you so long to realize it?
Also, if you are going to report about it, the least you could do is mention Apple's refusal to allow any porn related applications on the App Store as well as the upcoming parental controls. No to mention, the number one form of parental control... Being a parent.
I forgot, it's only worth it to report the negative side of a story.... C'mon Time...
(all negativity is directed at Time, not TiPB)

Sorry, some of us forget there's only one country in the world, where everything is split into two ideologies and between neither shall reason nor mutual respect meet.
But we'll be getting iPhone soon too. Unfortunately, the display seems to be full of colors and shades of gray, so may not prove myopia inducing enough.
Remind me, however -- when did sticking up for the rights of individual parents over societal dictatorship become left wing? That seems like a rather elephantine ideal at its core. Or have the labels really been that far frack-to-bunted in the black-and-white-are-one-too-many-options spin rooms?
What, not talking pointed enough? Too much thinking different, I guess...

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