Apple and Google App Stores Plagued With A Hardcore App Porn Problem!

The Apple and Google App Stores are plagued with a hardcore app porn problem!

We stumbled upon this porn problem while Co-Founder and Chief Editor Lisa Vallez was testing an app called All Video Pro – Free Music and Free Video ($3.99). This Photo & Video app had been submitted to our website for review along with numerous promo codes for distribution. Being primarily a family-friendly website, Lisa thoroughly tested this app and discovered that the application links to the most popular pornography websites in the world. The links are hidden in the bottom image on the home screen under the title “Alexa Top 300.”

App Stores Plagued With A Hardcore App Porn Problem

Once the image is tapped on, you’re served up an incomplete list of the Top 300 websites. What is served are only the Top Video websites from the Alexa’s Top 300 websites. This list includes 8 extremely hardcore porn sites that can be accessed through the in app browser of this application.

App Stores Plagued With A Hardcore Porn Problem

Compounding matters, this iOS Universal Photo & Video app allows for videos to be downloaded within the application. All a user has to do is tap on a video and it is immediately downloaded to their iOS device. There are actually two versions of this app. The free version is called All Video Plus – Free Music and Free Video, but this only allows for 3 video downloads. You must buy the full version ($3.99) for unlimited video downloads.

Alarmed by this porn problem and ease of access to pornographic content as well as the likelihood that underage kids can view this content, we contacted Apple to have this application flagged and removed.

Below is a list of of unsuccessful steps we undertook to notify Apple and make them aware of their porn problem.

  1. 06/03/13 – Contacted a high level iTunes podcast marketing manager. The response: sent the information to iTunes App Store and thanked us for contacting them.
  2. 06/03/13 – Emailed appreview@apple.com and disclosed the issue, app name, etc. Received a reply the next day advising that they would look into it, but we would not be contacted any further about this matter, only the developer.
  3. 06/04/13 – Contacted Our Apple Business Partner at the Brandon Town Center, FL Apple Store and spoke with Humum. He told me he had no way to do anything about this and advised he would have a higher level manager contact us by EOD – never got a call back.
  4. 06/04/13 – Called Apple HQ Cupertino, CA and explained the issue. I was transferred several times, but was told there was nothing further they could do other than my email to appreview@apple.com. However, they profusely thanked me for notifying them of this issue.
  5. 06/04/13 – Invited Phillip Schiller, Senior Vice President Apple Worldwide Marketing to connect, with a specific message about this issue. There has been no response as of yet, which was expected.

We deferred not to do an immediate blog post on this porn problem issue because we are Apple supporters and wanted to give Apple the opportunity to address the issue. We also did not want to glorify this application in any way, nor pornography. We waited several days to give Apple an opportunity to remove the applications, however, they have not done so. Thus, we felt obligated to make this matter public to inform unsuspecting people, parents, and others who do not want to consume pornography on their iOS devices.

While researching for this app porn problem article we discovered that this issue is much more widespread than we first believed. It appears that both the Apple and Google App Stores are plagued with the same hardcore porn problem! And, we did not even check Amazon, Microsoft, or Blackberry App Stores, not to mention the other app stores.

While doing further research of this app porn problem we decided to check for other iOS video download apps that may have the same problem. The results are stunning. Virtually 6 out of 6 video download apps tested allowed access to hardcore pornographic websites within the app and the ability to downloaded videos to iOS devices contributing to the app porn problem we stumbled upon.

Discovered Apps Include:

  1. All Video Plus – Free Music and Free Video
  2. All Video Pro – Free Music and Free Video
  3. Titan Player
  4. Video Downloader Pro
  5. Video Downloader Free

We did not do an exhaustive test of all video downloading applications because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of these apps, both paid and free.

Again, giving Apple the benefit of the doubt, we checked to see if the offending applications were able to exist legitimately in the iTunes App Store. And clearly, this is not the case according to The App Store Review Guidelines, which states under section 18 that pornography is forbidden in any iOS application:

“18. Pornography

18.1
Apps containing pornographic material, defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings”, will be rejected
18.2
Apps that contain user generated content that is frequently pornographic (ex “Chat Roulette” Apps) will be rejected”

Now that an app porn problem has been addressed, we looked into a possible solution to determine if the pornographic app content could be blocked or not. And for the most part, in app porn content cannot be blocked. This further led to the discovery that all iOS browser applications tested: Safari, Chrome, Opera, and Puffin all allow access to hardcore pornographic content. There are certainly other browsers serving up pornography as well. The browser apps even appear to allow downloads, viewing of live webcam porn, and other pornographic content once a user signs up for those services, again all from within an approved iOS or Google application.

Now, we realize the World Wide Web has both good and bad places depending on your own moral view point. Our job is not to police the world. However, Apple blatantly violates its own policies with their Safari app and allows all other browser apps to do the same. Now this is where the story really takes an “out of control turn” for Apple. There are 1,000s to 10,000s of iOS apps with in app browsers or server connectivity within the application.

According to another developer friend, “Once an application is approved, a developer can make changes to any app without Apple’s consent or approval.” See how this can be a problem? Notice the screenshot of the All Video Plus – Free Music and Free Video user rating information below:

App Stores Plagued With A Hardcore Porn Problem

It appears the user rating listed in this app is not “Apple approved.” It indicates the app may contain “Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity.” We are lead to believe that the developer inserted their own “user rating” because the rating that exists now in the app description clearly violates Apple’s “The App Store Review Guidelines.”

Obviously, this porn problem does not appear to be exclusive to the Apple iTunes App Store. We did brief testing for the Google Play App Store and found the exact same issues with video downloader apps and browser applications. According to Google’s “Rating your application content for Google Play” pornography is not allowed in any Google Play application as follows:

“Sexual and Suggestive Content
Pornography is not permitted in Google Play. Apps that include suggestive or sexual references must be rated medium maturity or high maturity. Apps that focus on suggestive or sexual references must be rated high maturity.”

The most troubling issue about the widespread pornographic problem in the iTunes App Store and Google Play App Store is that there appears to be no way to easily contact Apple or Google about applications that violate both company’s guidelines. Being a parent, I can assure you that I am second guessing myself about providing my 3 kids iPod Touches for Christmas.

App Stores Plagued With A Hardcore Porn Problem How to Protect Your Devices

Apparently, until Apple and Google decide to enforce their own policies on not only themselves but others, access to hardcore porn is rampantly available in both App Stores. A more sinister fear is whether or not “Child Pornography” is available from within these applications. Being a retired police officer, I did not want to violate any laws while investigating this matter, but my guess is yes. I suspect Apple and Google applications have in app browser capabilities to spread “Child Pornography” as well as the download of this content.

Resources To Prevent A Porn Problem On Apple iOS And Google iOS Devices

Apple does allow you to remove their Safari app from any iOS device. Follow these instructions: Settings>General>Restrictions>Toggle On, then turn off Safari and make any other restriction changes you like. You will not see the Safari app when you go back to your device screens.

Apple & Google iOS

How to Block Pornography on Internet-Connected Devices

Apple iOS

How to Block Porn on Your iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch

How to setup parental controls on iPad

PageClean blocks adult content on iOS

K9 Web Protection Browser

Google iOS

How To Block Porn On Your Android

The above resources are not an exhaustive list of pornography preventive methods for iOS or Google OS devices, but it is a good place to start if this issue concerns you.

The app world continues to grow and flourish with an avalanche of new apps and app updates each day in the app stores. And it appears that both Apple and Google have an app porn problem to deal with in regards to the rampant availability of hardcore pornography to their app users.

About Michael Vallez

Michael Vallez - (CrazyMike) is the Founder of CrazyMikesapps.com. Mike is a regular guy who has a tech side, specifically a love for mobile apps and touch gaming. He is a retired cop, husband, father, and son. Current Devices: Galaxy Note 3, iPad Air, Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX. Twitter - @MichaelVallez.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Linda.McCrane Linda Schaefer McCrane

    OMG I had no idea

  • http://www.facebook.com/candy.lewis1 Candy Lewis

    It’s pretty disgusting to see the creepy porn apps listed

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