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Phil Schiller says Apple didn't censor a dictionary

Nilay Patel
08.06.09
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Yesterday's story about Apple censoring the Ninjawords dictionary seems to have made some waves in Cupertino -- none other than Phil Schiller followed up with Daring Fireball's John Gruber to provide Apple's perspective on the situation. According to Phil, Apple's objection to Ninjawords was that by using the free Wiktionary.org dictionary, it "provided access to other more vulgar terms than those found in traditional and common dictionaries," and that the App Store reviewer initially suggested the developer resubmit when iPhone OS 3.0 was launched with parental controls. Since 3.0 hadn't been released yet, the developer censored some of the words in an effort to get onto the store early, and that's how Ninjawords ended up both censored and rated 17+. Sure, okay, except that Gruber points out that the App Store reviewer flagged some pretty generic swear words, not the smack-your-momma vulgarities Phil claims are the issue. Still, the larger message remains the same -- the App Store review process is maddeningly inconsistent and in dire need of reform -- and on that note Phil says Apple intends to "learn and quickly improve," so it sounds like there's hope yet. Check the read link for more of Phil's response, it's an interesting read.

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