App Store ratings system still needs work

On July 18, 2009

The iPhoneObviously, no ratings system is perfect.  Long ago the MPAA implemented a ratings system for movies so kids had to actually sneak into the movie theater  to see adult content.  The interesting thing about the App Store is that since Apple is the sole owner of it, the company must be its own MPAA.  It’s even going that extra mile in keeping out the kiddies by not allowing apps rated 17+ to have promo codes.

I foresee two problems with this.  The first is that objectionable content is always subjective.  As the article notes, Wobble iBoobs is unrated and Doom is rated 12+, but any app that makes use of the Internet browser (since the Internet is a gateway to porn) is automatically rated 17+.  That seems unfair to me.  The second is that if there is any interest by the children to get to these "adult" apps, they will find a way.  No system is 100% secure.

Not allowing apps that are rated 17+ in the App Store to have promo codes is the equivalent of giving a movie an NC-17 rating.  Sure, people will know it’s there but there is no way it will generate sufficient word of mouth sales to make a good profit.

Apple is actively trying to discourage the creation of adult apps.  This is an exercise in monopoly power and an intrusion into freedom of speech.  Using iTunes security, let the kids not have access.  If adults get a promo code and want to exercise it, they should be allowed.

What do you think?  Do you agree?