Nude Photos Prompt Apple to Remove 500px from iTunes App Store


Yesterday Apple abruptly removed the mega-popular 500px from the iTunes App store today citing the fact that users can search for photos that feature nudity.

I caught up with 500px CEO and co-founder Oleg Gutsol for a comment:

“Apple’s problem with the app is essentially that it was too easy to find nude photos by using the search function of the app. That functionality has been there since the beginning of our development of the app. This functionality previously has been something you had to explicitly enable “show nude content” on you account online. But that was not strict enough for Apple. They voiced concern earlier – so we created the opt in feature – but then Monday night things changed. We’re working with them on it and I’m it will be fixed soon. The result will be that no nude content will be searchable on the iOS platform. Android apps will stay the same. Google has not expressed concerns.” – Oleg Gutsol

The 500px app has amassed nearly 1 million downloads over the past 16 months and 80M page views per day.
Ironically, Oleg was on an important episode of chasejarvisLIVE last year: The Evolution of Your Creative Rights with the ASMP and Larry Lessig. We’re sending Oleg and his team the best of luck. Sounds like they have it under control.

48 Responses to Nude Photos Prompt Apple to Remove 500px from iTunes App Store

  1. Jeffrey Remick January 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    Hey, you might want to remove that Safari app. I found some nude photos in there.

    • faisal January 23, 2013 at 6:21 am #

      LOL, Apple does not remove own apps ever ;p

      • Dennis January 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

        Even the highly misleading Apple Maps.

  2. Michael Rasmussen (@MichaelRpdx) January 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    in related news all web browsers will be removed from iTues because you can find nudity on the internet.

  3. Richard Wong January 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Ridiculous. Like we haven’t seen a nude body before? Geez.

  4. RomeoAD January 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Buying an iPad just lost its sense.

  5. Jeremy Givens January 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    Think Richard Harrington or someone from twip said (paraphrasing) “Apple is the gated community inside the urban landscape of the internet”. Thats why I moved to Android. I like the “filth” of the city.

  6. Graham Green January 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    One of the many reasons why I will never use Apple products.

    • Swade January 22, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      What an asinine reason to not use Apple products.

      • brad January 22, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

        Wow, Swade, condescending much?

        This decision smacks of a smug sense of superiority, which repels me from Apple products just as thoroughly as it does Graham, apparently.

        But, you know, by your comments on this post, I can clearly see why it appeals to you.

  7. Brian January 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    I find it ironic and disturbing that 500px can get pulled from the app store because users can find nude content but the NRA first person shooter game is marketed as appropriate for ages 4+. When will Apple show the same moral authority on violence?

    • Chris French January 22, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

      Nice observation! Damn problem across American media and entertainment – guns and death good, nipples bad…

  8. João Almeida January 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Apple’s apparent quest for purity is so annoying…

  9. Lee January 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Maybe Apple should remove Safari from iOS as well. I mean, someone might use it to search for nudes.

  10. Lee January 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Dammit, didn’t see the earlier comments

  11. Chris French January 22, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    The United States of Apple has it’s own freedom of speech and expression. Assimilate to our moral code or join the Androids.

  12. steve January 22, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    If that’s their policy then that’s their policy. Who are we to tell them how to run iTunes? You can however, simply not shop/visit there. Plain and simple.

  13. Mike January 22, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    They really should take down Tumblr, because I really can’t get away from all the tits and ass on there.

  14. Mike Child January 22, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    That is absolutely ridiculous.
    I really don’t understand why Apple sees it as their role to censor.
    I used to do all of my photo book printing through Apple until one time they refused to print a glamour book because of nudity. Other vendors didn’t have a problem with it, so all Apple achieved was to lose a customer.
    Stupid business practice.

    • Swade January 22, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

      I don’t understand these kinds of comments. Apple iTunes’ (the part of the company behind this) biggest market is tweens. They spend exponentially more money on iTunes than any other group (guess where they get the money?), so why not if they crack down on some nudity? Yes, Flickr should probably be inquired about, but it is through their e-distributor and to their products, so they can do what they deem is correct in accordance to their set of application terms. Safari and web browsers have histories and parental locks which I can only assume that 500px doesn’t have. No one seems to have ever taken a business class.

  15. Dan January 22, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    So that’ll mean safari gets pulled too surely

  16. John January 22, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Chase…you have the funniest commentators on the Internet. Great zingers up and down this thread.

  17. Lance January 22, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Here are the facts:

    The app had a +4 rating which apple defines as “Apps in this category contain no objectionable material.” Did 500px honor this rating? No.

    Also, they shouldn’t have been surprised. The review right on their iTunes page lists a complaint about nudity. I think if the app was properly rated Apple should put the app back up.

  18. Rob J January 23, 2013 at 2:41 am #

    Apple run a closed shop and decide what they sell, thats fair enough. They make foolproof products by deciding what you can or can’t do on their devices, that’s fair enough. As a consumer you can vote with your wallet, that’s fair enough.

  19. Tim Roper January 23, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    The chance to see some artistic nudes, or at least attempts at it, on a site like 500px rather than going to the internet for hard core porn (and beyond) should be seen as a good thing, not something to be discouraged.

  20. JLorenzo January 25, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    I would think Apple would have to pull a lot more than just 500px, if they are so concerned about nudity they would need to restrict access to the Internet. Why make a stupid and insignificant move when the real prom ken isn’t the application. They would need to pull Facebook, and all the other social networks apps on their site.
    Where is the logic?

  21. Matthias wassermann January 25, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    How about the other apps that search Dont’t they find nude stuff?
    War images and violent movies are ok but nudes not.

    In short I prefer nudes to nukes.

  22. Kristina Juarbe January 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    Love the 500px app! Glad its already on my phone!

  23. Efan Bruder February 7, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    I’m sorry, but this kind of thing has been pissing me off for a while now. I’m a moderately successful photographer, and I specialize in nudes. Try buying advertising anywhere (even from google) if you show the human body. Finding out that now you can’t even SEARCH for nudes on an iOS product for one of the best sources for inspiration and ideas out there? That just grinds my gears. The fact that I’m now closed off from using 500px (which I hadn’t used previously, but had considered) to reach new people using iOS is a slap in my face.

  24. Apple February 14, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    its not the developers fault what gets posted on their services…agreed there should be some safety measure or authentication protocol for accessing adult content but you really cant blame the developer or snag their app out…the right thing is to deliver a notice of the situation to the developers and ensure they take necessary steps.

    However if there was child porn on that service then Apple did the right thing!
    People who prey on children and violate women’s rights dont deserve a place amongst humans because they arent humans!

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