Third-Party Reddit Apps Pulled From App Store for NSFW Content [Updated]
Popular third-party Reddit apps like Narwhal, iAlien, Baconreader, Eggplant and Antenna have been pulled from the App Store for breaching clause 18.2 of the App Review Guidelines, Narwhal developer Rick Harrison told Gizmodo. The takedowns were first spotted on a Reddit thread.
Today, we received notice that our new update with a lot of great new features was rejected under the App Store rule 18.2: “Your app contains a mechanism to enable or disable Not Safe For Work (NSFW) content, including pornographic content. Apps with sexually explicit content are not appropriate for the App Store.” About 15 minutes afterwards, we received notice that the current version of our app has been removed from the app store.
While the third-party apps were pulled from the App Store, Reddit's new official app has remained. When Reddit launched its new app, it said users were "free to continue enjoying" the third-party app of their choice and pledged to continue support for its public API.
Harrison told MacStories that he reached out to Reddit about the takedowns and was told that the company did not request that third-party apps be pulled. In fact, Reddit told Harrison that the company was also having issues with Apple over clause 18.2.
Specifically, clause 18.2 states that apps containing user-generated content that is "frequently pornographic" would be rejected. Many of the pulled third-party apps have been in the App Store for about a year, and some of them include NSFW filters that allow users to disable potentially pornographic content.
In the past, Apple has also pulled apps for featuring user-generated content that could be viewed as pornographic. In 2013, Apple pulled 500px's photo sharing app due to concerns that users could search for nude photographs. The app was eventually returned to the App Store once it added an age-gate.
Update 6:24 AM: As noted by iMore, a number of the removed apps are returning to the App Store after their developers removed NSFW toggles from the apps. Rather than an app-based toggle, apps are now required to rely on the user's Reddit preferences for filtering out NSFW content.