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Apple Pulls 500px iOS App, Because It’s Too Easy to Search for Nude Photos

Both 500px and ISO500 iOS apps have been pulled from the App Store, the Toronto photo-sharing startup 500px reported today. The reason: Apple was concerned with nude photos.


The apps were pulled this morning around 1 a.m. Eastern, and disappeared by noon today, following a review the startup developers had with Apple related to an updated version of 500px.

According to the startup's COO Evgeny Tchebotarev, the Apple reviewer, told them he(or she) couldn’t approve the update since it allows users to search for nude photos in the application, which is true. Yet, the developers have made it tough to do so, when compared to other popular photo-sharing apps, such as Instagram and Gifture.

As Tchebotarev points out, 500px for iOS features a "safe search" mode by default, where nude photos are hidden. However, you can disable "safe search" by visiting their desktop website and making the change.

Tchebotarev said the company did this because they don’t want kids or others to come across these nude photos unwittingly. “Some people are mature enough to see these photos,” he says, “but by default it’s safe.”

But what the startup found alarming is they don't publish pornographic content, as it is against their terms and it's deleted, while other photo sharing platforms allow these types of nude images.

Instead, 500px has gathered a community, including professional photographers and photo enthusiasts, who mostly publish photos with artistic flare. Currently, the 500px app relies on the community to identify pornographic content – or at least inappropriate images – but it has something under development allowing them to identify and tag images of nudes, so they will never appear in searches.

After being in the App Store for 16 months, 500px and ISO500 have a combined 1 million+ downloads. The startup hopes with the update they are working on, Apple will allow these apps to return.

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