'Anti-sexting patent': Another victory in Apple's anti-porn cabal

'Anti-sexting patent': Another victory in Apple's anti-porn cabal

Summary: Apple's anti-porn cabal has been granted another victory, a patent which in essence has the potential to combat 'sexting' and other graphic text-based content.

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TOPICS: iPhone, Legal, Mobility
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Dubbed the 'anti-sexting patent', Apple has been approved a patent, first submitted in 2008, which could be used to prevent users from sending and receiving sexually related text messages.

This is yet another move towards a 'family friendly' Apple, with all sexually explicit applications removed from the App Store, after publically criticising the adult industry earlier this year during the iPad launch

(For the old people out there who still 'court' and 'woo', sexting is to send a sexually graphic of explicit text message or image, commonly used by the Generation Y to get their groove on. Of course, taking into account teenagers doing this, there has been obvious concern in regards to the transmission of child abuse imagery, though granted they are not always knowing they are engaging in an illegal act).

Although the patent doesn't specifically call out 'sexting', there are references to 'parental controls' for preventing words from being typed or displayed:

"Systems, devices, and methods are provided for enabling a user to control the content of text-based messages sent to or received from an administered device. In some embodiments, a message will be blocked (incoming or outgoing) if the message includes forbidden content" ..."The content of such a message is controlled by filtering the message based on defined criteria."

Yet on the other hand, the patented technology could work to engage the user in learning:

"These techniques also may be used, in accordance with instructional embodiments, to require the administered devices to include certain text in messages. These embodiments might, for example, require that a certain number of Spanish words per day be included in e-mails for a child learning Spanish."

Gawker considers this patent almost useless, with those who want to send these kinds of messages resorting to making a phone call instead. Yet, as anyone will know who has sent a raunchy text message before, the reason it is written down is because it's socially awkward saying it directly to them - especially if you are in the very beginning stages of a 'relationship'. Plus, the traditional phone call are in decline with the younger generations today, opting for social media and instant messaging instead.

I just hope there's a way to turn it off.

Topics: iPhone, Legal, Mobility

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  • This story seems to repeat itself a lot

    Why does it often turn out that the thing you publicly denounce end up being exactly what you are? Time after time, you read the story of the anti-gay politician who then gets caught... well... you know.<br><br>Here we have Apple that famously "smashed" Big Brother in 1984, only to turn into <b>exactly that</b>.<br><br>When MS releases WP7.5, I'll be very happy to, similar to Apple's commercial, take my iPhone and smash it against the symbol of corporate evilness: Steve Jobs. Too bad because I like my iPhone but the company behind it is rotten to the very core.
    NonZealot
    • RE: 'Anti-sexting patent': Another victory in Apple's anti-porn cabal

      @NonZealot

      What? Are you serious? It's a control, just like Settings > Keyboard > Auto Cap, Auto Correct, Check Spelling, Enable Caps Lock, et al. Per the patent, ?The content of such a message is controlled by filtering the message based on defined criteria. The criteria may be defined according to a parental control application.?

      In idiot village speak, if you you want to send BrettFavrian images to an unsuspecting victim, feel free, just don't turn it on in Parental Controls on your phone.
      mrgoodall
      • RE: 'Anti-sexting patent': Another victory in Apple's anti-porn cabal

        @mrgoodall I think he would have to have his parents do it for him :)
        john_gillespie@...
      • RE: 'Anti-sexting patent': Another victory in Apple's anti-porn cabal

        @mrgoodall I'll give you a dollar to show me how to recieve porn sites on an iPad without hacking it then if it's so easy.
        blueskip
    • I'm looking forward to the day when people turn their

      brains back on and realize the a corporation cannot force anyone to do anything. Big brother was the government. Big brother will always be a government, and only a fool gives the government the power it needs to become a big brother.
      frgough
      • RE: 'Anti-sexting patent': Another victory in Apple's anti-porn cabal

        @frgough but in a country full of fools, thats happening, every election, dem or rep, they are all making government bigger and bigger, remember, its a race between software developers keep trying to develop idiot proof software and the universe to create bigger and better idiots, so far the universe is winning...
        nickdangerthirdi@...
      • Myth of the Great Leader

        @frgough

        It's a myth that people 'give' power to despots. Despots <b>take</b> power. They may make it look like it was freely given, but it isn't.

        Julius Caeser's refusal of the Emperor's crown looked noble but that nobility didn't jibe with the gangs of his partisans that prowled the streets of Rome terrorizing the opposition, the same partisans that incited the plebian mob to offer Caeser the crown in the first place.

        Nazi Brownshirts waged a multi-year terror program that intimidated/maimed/killed all opposition to their 'movement' until no one dared stand up against them. Same with the Italian Fascist Party, and the Russian Communists under Lenin.

        They all began as factions within larger movements in periods of social upheaval. They asserted their positions by going to public meetings and shouting down anyone whose views opposed them. (Kind of like the astroturf-bussed-in TeaBagger ignoramuses at last summer's congressional town halls. I thought it amazingly ironic that, as they called others 'Nazis', they were using Nazi tactics, apparently oblivious of the parallel.)

        And once they gained dominance, they 'purified' their movement.

        Lenin formed the template in Russia for decades by labeling his opposition as 'counterrevolutionary' and shipping the ones he didn't kill outright off to the gulags.

        The Brownshirts -- having outlived their usefulness and become a liability -- were murderously purged on The Night of the Long Knives. They were the first of many.

        And Augustus cleansed his new empire, not only going to war against the opposition Senators but, eventually, disposing of his Uncle Julius' favorite general, Marc Antony.

        People do turn to despots in desperate times, but the Great Leader foments the desperation and, having laid his careful groundwork, ensures that he is the only choice when the time comes.

        Corporations were great supporters of the Fascist, the Nazis and -- ironically -- the Communists.

        The (in)famous Billionaire Koch brothers of Koch Industries -- one of those small business 'S' Corporations for whom the GOP are working so hard to keep their Bush tax breaks -- owe their fortune to Stalin. Their father developed an oil refinery (not a process; the actual hardware) but found himself squeezed out of the US market by Big Oil. On the verge of bankruptcy, he got an invite to the USSR and spent several years helping the communists create their oil industry. Of course, nowadays the brother use their money to undermine the US political system for their own benefit.

        Big Brother can definitely wear pinstripes.
        cdmsr
      • RE: 'Anti-sexting patent': Another victory in Apple's anti-porn cabal

        @frgough

        By their actions now, Big Brother is Google. They are trying to spy on every facet of your lives. And millions are willingly let them.
        jorjitop
      • RE: 'Anti-sexting patent': Another victory in Apple's anti-porn cabal

        @cdmsr OMG...I think I'm in manlove. I'd definitely buy the beer just to hear you speak. LOL!!! Man people like you are definitely in short supply. That is the most amazing post I've ever seen on zdnet. I think I may actually shed tear of admiration and envy.

        @jorjitop Get real.
        blueskip
    • I'm very puzzled, NZ.

      Most people, if they don't like a particular company--for whatever reason--don't support them by buying their products. You passionately hate Apple in general and Steve Jobs in particular. Why the hell are you supporting them by buying their products??? I just plain don't get it.

      And here's a suggestion, NZ: Read the first sentence of your post and think about it very, very carefully. It could be enlightening!
      Userama
      • RE: 'Anti-sexting patent': Another victory in Apple's anti-porn cabal

        @Userama

        I think everyone who knows the ins & outs of this should (ought to but not necessarily) observe this is a marketing patent. People hear the machines will filter sexting and Mom & Dad think it will protect their kids from themselves.

        When the news points out how ineffective it is, parents will fall back on the "kids are so smart. It's no wonder we can't keep up with them."
        Mihi Nomen Est
      • RE: 'Anti-sexting patent': Another victory in Apple's anti-porn cabal

        @Mihi: nice thought (=
        congalalalala
    • moron

      @NonZealot
      it is a part of parental control settings. to keep children from sending or receiving sexual explicit content, to protect them. and that makes apple evil? in what kind of dark, twisted world are you living?
      banned from zdnet
      • Anti-barking collars for teenagers?

        @banned from zdnet

        What's next? parents putting collars on teenagers so they get a citrus mist or high pitch if they swear or say something sexually explicit until they learn not to do it?

        Let's forget about parenting and let the devices do it for us. Sounds right to you?
        rarsa
      • Awesome Response rarsa!

        @rarsa .....and that's exactly what NZ was talking about. Having a Corporation that parents both us and our kids with iCrApple's Steve Jobs iHitler control scheme. That's fine for iCrAppleholics, but the pits for the rest of humans who like to control our own lives, children, devices and what we do with them ourselves! ;)
        i2fun@...
      • control

        @i2fun@...
        i know this will be hard for you. after all, your parents already restrict what part of the internet you can see when and for how long. ("only zdnet and only for 3 hours a day!") and yes in the future your parents will be able to keep you from sending photos of your naked butt to your female classmates. thank you apple.
        banned from zdnet
      • RE: 'Anti-sexting patent': Another victory in Apple's anti-porn cabal

        @banned from zdnet

        I hope you eventually understand that education and control are different things. In general conservatives favour control: hence more police and prisons. Liberals favour education, hence more schools and social services.

        With the control approach, it does not matter how hard you try, you will keep creating more of what you are trying to prevent.

        With the education approach, you will prevent it before it happens.

        I know you think everyone is your age. That's not so. In my case, I am the parent. Two fully functional, educated sons, 20 and 19, who never had limits on the internet, friends, TV watching or reading material. Just good education and supervision.
        rarsa
      • RE: 'Anti-sexting patent': Another victory in Apple's anti-porn cabal

        @i2fun@...
        I agree! No icrippled icrap at my house thank you very much.
        blueskip
    • RE: 'Anti-sexting patent': Another victory in Apple's anti-porn cabal

      Hmmm steve jobs doing censorship and acting like those from 1984.. No he would never be big brother.. just ask him....<br><br>What an ass he has become.. Another reason not to buy anything apple

      I know I regert buying the ipad. can not get to 90% of the websites I use.
      rparker009
      • RE: 'Anti-sexting patent': Another victory in Apple's anti-porn cabal

        @rparker009

        liar
        DeusXMachina