'Barely Legal Teen': Apple Censors Keywords From iCloud Messages, Seeking Another Resolution To Its 'Porn Problem'

Messages sent through iCloud not delivered.

  @YannickLeJacq on February 28 2013 4:56 PM
Apple Censors "Barely Legal Teen" From iCloud Message, Seeking Another Resolution To Its "Porn Problem."
Apple is blocking messages sent through its iCloud email service with the phrase "barely legal teen," suggesting the company is taking another aggressive approach to resolve its "porn problem." IBTimes/Yannick LeJacq

Adding another wrinkle to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) ongoing “porn problem,” the company is now censoring iCloud emails and attachments.

First noticed by Macworld, Apple is deleting messages sent from its iCloud email service that contain the phrase “barely legal teen.”

The site tested out iCloud’s content filtering by trying to send a message that read: “My friend's son is already allowed to drive a high-powered car. He's a barely legal teenage driver? What on earth is John thinking.”

The message could not be delivered successfully until Macworld amended the phrase “a barely legal.” When it was tweaked to “barely a legal,” the message went through with no problems.

Interestingly enough, the same message still worked on several other Apple applications such as iMessages or the Siri personal assistant for the iPhone.

We put iCloud’s message filtering to the test by sending a message with the aforementioned keywords, and had the same result. The service blocked a message with the exact phrase “barely legal teen,” but a similar message that separated the words “barely,” “legal,” and “teen” was delivered successfully.

In iCloud’s terms of service, the company states that “Apple reserves the right at all times to determine whether Content is appropriate and in compliance with this Agreement, and may pre-screen, move, refuse, modify and/or remove Content at any time, without prior notice and in its sole discretion, if such Content is found to be in violation of this Agreement or is otherwise objectionable.”

Apple has taken a similar approach to blocking explicit content from its services and third-party apps sold through its app store in the past. Earlier this month, the company changed the rating of Twitter’s new iOS application Vine following its almost instantaneous devolution into an outlet for six-second snippets of video pornography. It also disabled a mobile photo sharing app known as 500px, saying that it violated the app store’s terms of service by facilitating the distribution of nude photos.

Apple was not immediately available for comment. Spokeswoman Trudy Miller told Business Insider on Thursday that iCloud will occasionally block legitimate messages due to its automated spam filters.

Apple stock fell just over 0.70 percent during Thursday trading, falling to $441.40 per share.

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