Apple Removes 500px App from the App Store Over the Issue of Artistic Nudity


If you were planning to install 500px’s popular photo sharing app on your iPhone or iPad today, you’re out of luck. The app was abruptly yanked from the iTunes App Store earlier today over the fact that users can search for photos showing artistic nudity.

500px co-founder Evgeny Tchebotarev tells us that the situation started last night after the company received a call from Apple, informing them that their latest version 2.0.3 update could not be approved due to the reason stated above.

Although the company promised a fix within the next day, Apple sent an email an hour later informing the company that the app would be pulled entirely. It made good on its word at around 10am-12pm EST today.

This is what you'll see now when you try to pull up the 500px app in iTunes

This is what you’ll see now when you try to pull up the 500px app in iTunes

500px is currently working to modify its backend to minimize the number of artistic nudes that can be searched for. This change will affect both future 500px app versions and 3rd party apps that use the company’s API. Tchebotarev tells us,

We are always working on better filtering, and before the change, any new account was ‘safe’ by default. The only switch we had was on the site (so that if you are fine with nude, you can enable it). Along with that, we would filter all nude photos by marking them appropriately — with help of community (there’s a report button on the web, and we get hundreds of reports a day) and customer support. In addition, we don’t allow pornographic or violent content, so such content is completely removed from the web (and Apps, of course).

The 500px app had been quite popular prior to its removal, amassing nearly 1 million downloads over the past 16 months and 80M page views per day.

Tchebotarev says his company wants to maintain a “good relationship” with Apple, but expressed frustration over the App Store’s review process, calling it “strangely erratic.”

After all, the app had been approved and available for over a year prior to this development, and has been progressively stricter and stricter with its nudity filters over time.

  • M C

    Would it surprise you to know that every web browser available from the App Store HAS to use the Apple-developed WebKit rendering engine found in Safari?

  • Sander van der Veen

    Prude Apple’s

  • Matthew Vanecek

    The app already has a filter. It won’t show nude images if you’re not logged in, or if your personal account setting is set to hide nude images.

  • Matthew Vanecek

    One wonders how long before the Flickr app gets pulled. Does Zenfolio have an app? They also need to pull the Video player, and the Safari Web browser. And Tumblr, and Tumblita and any other Tumblr client. And any apps that provide access to the Web in general.

  • Danielle Dickerson Cowden

    This is why I own an Android phone.

  • confused

    Agree. This doesn’t make any sense at all. Why is 500px being held to different standard?

  • John

    Because this is not a decision taken on logical thinking and normal sense, it’s another panic attack by the narrow minded geniuses at the Apple labor camp.

  • Me do

    Are they going to remove google too? Because you still can search for porn and nude arts.

  • Me do

    Are they going to remove google too? Because you still can search for porn and nude arts.

  • Lamdba

    When you start censoring art, that might be a sign that your censorship policies are too strict.

  • malcolmboura

    Apple is a danger to society. It is long overdue that they followed the evidence instead of reinforcing body prejudice. Prudery is child abuse with good intentions. The evidence is very clear.