NIN iPhone app rejection
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05/03/09 7:02 PM

Below is the complete text of the email sent to our developer regarding the rejection of the service update to our iPhone application.

From: iPhone Developer Program <>
Date: April 27, 2009 11:44:12 AM PDT
Subject: nin: access 1.0.3: Application Submission Feedback

Please include the line below in follow-up emails for this request.


Dear Craig,

Thank you for submitting nin: access to the App Store. We've reviewed nin: access and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store at this time because it contains objectionable content which is in violation of Section 3.3.12 from the iPhone SDK Agreement which states:

"Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple's reasonable judgement may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users."

The objectionable content referenced in this email is "The Downward Spiral". Since the app is live on the App store, please make the necessary changes to the application as soon as possible, and resubmit your binary to iTunes Connect. Thank you


iPhone Developer Program

Now, "The Downward Spiral" the album is not available anywhere in the iPhone app. The song "The Downward Spiral" I believe is in a podcast that can be streamed to the app.
Thanks Apple for the clear description of the problem - as in, what do you want us to change to get past your stupid fucking standards?
And while we're at it, I'll voice the same issue I had with Wal-Mart years ago, which is a matter of consistency and hypocrisy. Wal-Mart went on a rampage years ago insisting all music they carry be censored of all profanity and "clean" versions be made for them to carry. Bands (including Nirvana) tripped over themselves editing out words, changing album art, etc to meet Wal-Mart's standards of decency - because Wal-Mart sells a lot of records. NIN refused, and you'll notice a pretty empty NIN section at any Wal-Mart. My reasoning was this: I can understand if you want the moral posturing of not having any "indecent" material for sale - but you could literally turn around 180 degrees from where the NIN record would be and purchase the film "Scarface" completely uncensored, or buy a copy of Grand Theft Auto where you can be rewarded for beating up prostitutes. How does that make sense?
You can buy The Downward Fucking Spiral on iTunes, but you can't allow an iPhone app that may have a song with a bad word somewhere in it. Geez, what if someone in the forum in our app says FUCK or CUNT? I suppose that also falls into indecent material. Hey Apple, I just got some SPAM about fucking hot asian teens THROUGH YOUR MAIL PROGRAM. I just saw two guys having explicit anal sex right there in Safari! On my iPhone!
Come on Apple, think your policies through and for fuck's sake get your app approval scenario together.

mod edit [bigglesworth]: unstickied thread

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/30/2009 04:03PM by bigglesworth.


05/03/09 7:10 PM

Gotta love shit like this. Makes no sense, none at all.


05/03/09 7:10 PM

fuckin a'.......


05/03/09 7:10 PM

ilu for your mind mr. reznor.

(or basically the fact that, while illustrating your frustration, you can make a clear & concise point that many major brands & business seem unable to fathom on a good day....even when they eat their wheaties.)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2009 07:12PM by andtracee.


05/03/09 7:11 PM

If Apple had some competition, none of this would be happening... /sigh


05/03/09 7:11 PM

Get em, Trent!


05/03/09 7:11 PM

This is ridiculous.


05/03/09 7:11 PM

I just set my iPhone on fire.


05/03/09 7:11 PM

Let's see if I can't get a follow up to the slashdot shit storm I created.


05/03/09 8:12 PM

Trent, all great points. This sort of ridiculousness has been going on for many months. I think engadget summed it up here: []

engadget posted:
Apple's just reached a whole new level of stupidity in App Store approval shenanigans: the Tweetie 1.3 update was just rejected for displaying "offensive language" in its Twitter trend search view. Right, not for offensive language in the app itself, but for offensive language on Twitter -- an insanely strict new standard that could conceivably be used to reject each and every iPhone Twitter client out there. (And if you haven't noticed, there are quite a few iPhone Twitter clients.) Hell, Apple might as well reject the next versions of Safari and Mail, since they can display dirty words too -- and let's not forget the awful things people are doing with Notes and the camera. Better lock it down.

Look, Apple -- this is a nadir. Rejecting a Twitter client for Twitter's content is simply indefensible, and it's a sign that the App Store approval "process" is broken beyond repair. It's time to drop the seemingly-random black-box approach -- which has earned nothing but well-deserved scorn -- open up, establish consistent, easy-to-understand rules with a well-defined appeals process, and actually work with innovative developers like Tweetie's Loren Brichter to push your platform forward in the face of newly-stiff competition. The massive popularity of the iPhone and the App Store may prevent a mass exodus, but the best devs are going to leave if they feel jerked around, and we doubt a store full of fart apps and misogynistic jiggle apps is really the vision you had for your platform. Think about it.

By Apple's standards, any app that displays the internet, which by its very nature contains explicit content, should not pass the "app" store approval process. By those standards, even Safari and Mail wouldn't pass the app store approval process.

Edit: Possible solution.
1. Remove the offensive content from the podcast.
2. Re-submit the app.
3. The app should be approved because the offensive content is gone. So, re-post the podcast in it's original form, with the offensive content restored.
4. Give Apple "the bird."

That might just work, because the you would have "removed" the offensive material...but only during the app approval process.

--Second possible solution: Speak as loudly as you can and give as much press as you can to speaking about how crappy and inconsistent the app approval process is, and hope that Apple listens.

Web sites covering this story:


Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2009 08:27PM by dolemite.


05/03/09 7:12 PM

Trent, I couldn't agree more. Apple and Wal-Mart and such stores have become morally ambiguous and hypocritical to a melting point. Do they not even have a clue as to the number of sales they have lost because of their poor "moral and upstanding" standards and policies?


05/03/09 7:12 PM

Apple always reminds me of The Scroodge, except more hypocritical.
Thank you Trent for bringing up the facts. It's nice to know someone agrees with me.


05/03/09 7:12 PM

wow they need to get their head's out of their asses!


05/03/09 7:12 PM

Yeaaahh get 'em! Can you pm me that anal sex vid please?


05/03/09 7:12 PM

I couldn't agree with you any more. There is a serious hypocrisy going on here. We'll sell you Rated R movies with tons of tits and vag, we'll put the latest gangsta rap shit up for you download, complete with kill whitey lyrics, but we can't post your application because of a naughty word. Ok. If they have their "standards" to police, they should put ratings on the damn applications and get it over with. Fucking imbeciles.. And I'm posting this from a Mac.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2009 07:13PM by tripps.


05/03/09 7:13 PM

Because Fmylife's app doesn't stand for Fuck My Life and doesn't include posts from users that go unchecked using curse words, as well as many other apps that do the same. Music related content should be an exception on that kind of rule. At most maybe requiring something saying that content may have music of questionable content like Parental advisories. But seriously, fuck all that shit.


05/03/09 7:13 PM

Well put. Good luck in the fight.


05/03/09 7:13 PM

Yep... Still think it's lame...


05/03/09 7:13 PM



05/03/09 7:13 PM

You just said it, bunch of hypocrites. thumbs down


05/03/09 8:14 PM


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2009 09:14PM by BeautyIsAnimate.


05/03/09 7:14 PM

thanks for chopping that 1st comment.......
saved me from bn rude....... smiling smiley


05/03/09 7:14 PM



05/03/09 7:15 PM

Another reason that I hate Wal-Mart, that store fucking sucks anyways. Go Trent!!! <3 winking smiley


05/03/09 7:15 PM

Damn that sucks. I always hate inconsistencies and hypocrisy. The only album from any band I would purchase at Wal-Mart would be Ghosts, since it's being sold for 9 bucks (and I really need to replace the one I have). I always hated how Wal-Mart will edit music, but leave the DVD's alone. I don't have an iPhone or anything, so this doesn't really affect me, but I'm sure people really wanted this. It's shit like this that makes me want to business elsewhere. .__. Fucking assholes.


05/03/09 7:15 PM

stick it to the man trent!


05/03/09 7:16 PM

Censorship in America has always been ham-fisted, and while I think we've come to expect it from the panderers like Wal-mart, I'm actually surprised to see it from Apple. Frankly, I'd love to see you take this to a higher authority at Apple and video record the whole thing. It would make for a refreshingly honest look at the censorship artists face in our country, and I think the last rock musician to stand up against rampant censorship so publicly was Dee Snyder back in the 80s. Even better, use all Mac equipment, the onboard camera, etc, to make the video and really stick it in their face.


05/03/09 7:16 PM

it's just APPLE, INC. being LAME and joining in on the SUPER CORPORATION crap the world is being covered with these days.

all that work and effort for nothing.... BLOWS


05/03/09 8:16 PM

Those were just about the exact same thoughts I had when I read the initial twitter about the app being rejected. I mentioned in one of my twitter replies to it that Apple could just have a Parent Advisory sticker for apps-they already have it for the songs on iTunes. Or some sort of disclaimer somewhere that Apple isn't responsible for the content of the app or something like that so they won't have to worry about some dumbass suing them for whatever stupid reason.


05/03/09 7:16 PM

Apple claim to support innovation and here they are resorting to the same old crap we see from companies the world over.

It is, however, brilliant to see you actually calling these companies on their hypocrisy and complete lack of consistency.

I love that you don't jump through hoops for these morons.

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