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Microsoft's Steve Ballmer is about to give pornography, suggestive images, and racy text the beat down.  (Source: YouTube)
Windows Phone 7 bans porn, suggestive content, and racy text

Apple's CEO Steve Jobs has recently led a crusade against pornography on the iPhone and iPod touch.  Emboldened perhaps by the vocal cries of family advocacy groups, Jobs engaged in a 2 a.m. flame war with a news editor arguing that he is offering the world "freedom from porn."  Jobs has dismissed Google's Android handsets as dirty "porn phones."


Now Microsoft looks to continue "following in Apple's line" as one Microsoft exec involved with Windows Phone 7 once put it.  Microsoft has announced elaborate restrictions [PDF] to cure its app developers and users of their dirty, puerile urges.

The first prohibition is fairly predictable:
  • Any content of a sexual nature depicting children or animals.
From there they get increasingly subjective, though:
  • Sex / Nudity – Images that are suggestive or sexual (e.g. sexually provocative touching, bondage, masturbation) or provocative images that reveal nipples, genitals, buttocks, or pubic hair.
  • Any adult and/or borderline adult content (images or text).
  • Content that generally falls under the category of pornography.
  • Content that depicts or suggests prostitution.
  • Any content depicting sexual fetishes.
The ban on provocative or suggestive content means its unlikely that swimsuit apps like an app featuring Sports Illustrated's swimsuit models will come to the phone anytime soon.  And the ban on app suggesting prostitution may make it tough for apps like Grand Theft Auto to reach the phone in all their glory.

It's unclear whether these prohibitions existed in the Windows Mobile 6.x marketplace era, but were merely not broadly publicized or are something new.  What is clear is that Microsoft is taking a hard-nosed stance when it comes to sexual content and is making it absolutely clear that it will not be tolerated in the Windows Phone 7 ecosystem. 

In the words of Steve Jobs, "If you want porn, get an Android."




"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA



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