Everyone knows that Apple is the anti-porn company. Steve Jobs was extremely vocal about his personal dislike of pornography, once saying “we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone” and “folks who want porn can buy and [sic] Android phone” back in 2010. That personal dislike translated into his professional work as the leader of Apple and, as a result, porn and other sex-related apps aren’t allowed in the App Store.

Never mind what people are doing on their browsers, I guess?

Jobs’ dislike of porn was so famous, in fact, that a recent statement by the new Apple CEO, Tim Cook, feels like news. Here’s what he said in a recent interview on MSNBC, as transcribed by Business Outsider:

Cook: We don’t believe that — we don’t believe that because we’re like the guy on the corner store. What you sell in that store says something about you, and if you don’t want to sell that other thing, you don’t sell it. It doesn’t mean that you can’t use an iPhone to go to your browser and go to some porno site, if you want to do that, but —

Swisher: Nobody does that. (LAUGHTER)

Cook: I’m not making fun of it.

Swisher: No, I —

Cook: But I’m just saying that it’s not what we want to put in our store. We want kids to go to the store, right, because kids — there’s a lot of learning, education apps in the store. And so, we’ve always done that. We’ve worked for the music industry to code things explicit, and so a parent could say, “I don’t want my child listening to explicit content.” We make sure all the movies are coded in such a way where you can say, “I only want my child looking at G movies,” or whatever, or we have a parental control around apps. You can say, “I don’t want them on these certain apps.” And so, this is something we’ve always felt really responsible for.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Cook’s statement is the fact that it’s not very remarkable at all. Oh, you’re cool with people using their iPhones to look at porn? That’s a) not a thing you can actually control if you’re giving people access to the internet and, b) a completely middle-of-the-road statement in 2018.

And can we talk about the “WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN???” argument Cook is making here? He cites the music and movie industries as two places where we’ve implemented certain guidelines to help shield children from content that isn’t age appropriate. The things he seems to be forgetting is that movie theaters didn’t stop playing R or NC-17 rated movies and music stores didn’t ban everything with an “explicit” label. Point being: There are ways to protect the children that don’t involve total prohibition.

Finally, smartphones — iPhones included — have been a huge part of the spread of access to pornography over the past decade. Pretending like that’s not the case is not just naive; it’s ridiculous. And building a walled garden to keep out the icky naked people and their icky sex is Apple’s choice, of course. But maybe it’s time to grow up.

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