Is Apple Starting to Censor the Word “Gay” in the App Store?

By , Nov 1, 2010

We already knew that the app approval process could be somewhat random. Some apps that shouldn’t be approved in the first place manage to show up in the App Store, while others that shouldn’t have any problem are rejected, sometimes for false reasons. In the end, Apple is always right: their store, their rules, right?

But what if Apple decided to reject applications simply because they contain the word “gay”? It seems that’s what the developer of a gay networking app has discovered while submitting his application for review…

At first, I thought it was one of those unfortunate incidents that happen all the time in dealing with Apple. However, when I was editing my app’s management page on Apple’s website, I encountered the following warning message:

“The following is not recommended for use in this field: gay. Your app may be rejected if you use this term.”

It seems reasonable that Apple is trying to remove the word “gay” from the App Store. Now I believe this is more than Apple just squashing a small iPhone app developer, but a matter of human rights. I will work to obtain Apple’s word that no app will be rejected just because it contains the word “gay” in their app description. I have asked the App Review Team an explanation regarding this matter, but as of writing this notice, I haven’t received a response.

There are plenty of applications in the App Store with the word “gay” in the title or app description, so why would they not recommend using this word?

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  • Burge

    Sounds like Apple just doing what they want when they want (again) ……………………………..
    P.S it’s coming

    • Burge

      The P.S has nothing todo with this post. Before you say anything

  • http://soyludico.de mr92

    I think its an case of interpretation.
    They do not want you to use the word “Gay” in a negative content! If you just write or talk about gays like they are without blaming/flaming them its allright (;

  • Aian

    You should definitely get an answer from apple!

  • NT

    Anything gay should be banned or placed in a subscription based area for this that want that stuff… It should not be available to be viewed by those who don’t want that… Usually I am not a fan of apple, but on this one I’m glad that someone us taking a stand against thus gay crap!!!

    • MusicalOne

      Gay crap? Smh

    • Dan

      You’re a tool. if you dont want a gay app, dont type gay into the search.. the gay apps wont just randomly install themselves without your consent.

  • Spode

    NT rewritten:
    Anything Christian should be banned or placed in a subscription based area for this that want that stuff… It should not be available to be viewed by those who don’t want that… Usually I am not a fan of apple, but on this one I’m glad that someone us taking a stand against thus Christian crap!!!

    If that bothers you, congratulations.

  • Monkey

    80% iPhone users are gay so Apple must be careful

  • JB Buddy

    I really don’t care if gay is in the app nor about the app itself since I’m not gay. Saying that, who the heck cares, let them use the word. I’m sure they don’t mind using nigga. But It isn’t killing anyone.

    @monkey, were you being serious or joking.

  • Ari

    Oh, my God, NT! What a little shit! Thanks, @MusicOne for your supportive comments about gay people–it’s good to see there’s people out there who’re fine with gays. I am proud to say that I am one of those people! By the way, back to my original reason for posting a comment here–Apple, while I like having an iPhone because of equal access to apps do to VoiceOver, I do not appreciate your bigoted app review process!

  • God’s boyfriend

    nearly everyone using iphones and ipads are gay and using them for grindr to pick up other local guys for sex. Seeing a guy with an ipad is 99% guaranteed to mean he is gay

    Apple, blocking the word “GAY” is discrimination, and in Europe at least will slap you with a multi-million fine, as well as a massive loss in revenue.

  • God’s boyfriend

    Can you imagine if Apple blocked apps with ethnic minority themes or religious themes?? how dare they?? Steve Jobs is a disgusting homophobe

  • Ari

    @God’s boyfriend. I take it your 99 percent of guys using iPads are gay comment was sarcasm, not to mention hyperbole, then?

  • Sandra Bernhard

    My app was just rejected today (twice already) and it is a gay humor app. The review board cited this reason:

    “14. Personal attacks
    14.1 Any App that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or
    likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms way will be
    rejected”

    I’m wondering who I’m attacking? I’m gay myself. The app has no pornography at all — it’s a cartoon characters face that says gay things with a lisp. I guess I’m “offensive” for being gay? It totally came across as though Apple is homophobic.

    I filled out the appeal process, but this is huge hassle. And now I have to wait even longer. (Already waited about 3 weeks now).

    I’m not sure about Androids submission process to stores, but Apple isn’t winning with me right now.