Apple Doesn’t Want You to Learn About Things Like P***s and V*****s

Do you remember how at one point Apple was censoring the word Jailbreak  from book and song titles and how they’ve banned some books because of a mention of Amazon? Apple’s back at it again, only this time the results are hilariously juvenile.

Mike Cane tipped me to a new censorship regime in iTunes, iBooks, and basically all of Apple’s content stores. Apple, out of the deep concern for the sensitive virgin eyes of some readers, is now using asterisks to hide certain words when they show up in titles. So far as I know Apple is only blocking two words.

I don’t want to offend anyone with these words, so I’ll just share this screenshot and let you draw you own conclusion:

What’s particularly amusing is that  Apple also sells textbooks, including books on human anatomy. And they also sell erotica, some with quite explicit covers.  So really I’m not bothered by the censorship so much as I am amused by how inept Apple is at coming up with a policy and enforcing it. The very concept of bleeping out these 2 words is making me laugh so hard that I have trouble typing right now, and yet Apple still decided to do so.

I used to smack around Amazon because they have banned certain types of manga while continuing to sell explicit erotica, but I think Apple’s policy is worse. They’ll sell you the content but they don’t want to let you know what the word is.

Tell me, has anyone bought one of thee ebooks? I’m wondering if Apple also removed those words from the iBooks dictionary. I know that sounds strange, but it’s not impossible. Does anyone know?

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Timothy Wilhoit12 September, 2012

    The book cover has the title written in big, unbowdlerized letters right next to the “asterisked” book description. Makes sense (not). I’m surprised there aren’t red marks across the offending letters on the book cover. Whats truly, truly sad is having books like “I get to Keep My V****a, Don’t I? – Pregnant with Cancer” lumped in with soft porn because the title contains *sniff* that WORD. Those books are so shameful that Apple is *almost* too good to accept the 30% commission.

  2. Johnny Pearseed13 September, 2012

    > Those books are so shameful that Apple is *almost* too good to accept the 30% commission.

    Brilliant observation, encapsulating all that is wrong about Apple, IMHO.

  3. Len Feldman13 September, 2012

    This just goes to show that any book title can be made dirty with the appropriate use of asterisks; for example:

    “Dr. S*****’s The C*** in the Hat”
    “Animal F***”

  4. Scott13 September, 2012

    I’m glad to have a chance not to see those words, thank you.

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