PostSecret iPhone app removed due to "malicious" users

An app that could be used by people to anonymously post secrets seemed like a good idea at the time for the creators of the iPhone app PostSecret. However, the actions of a tiny percentage of the app's users have now caused the app's creators to voluntarily pull the software program from Apple's App Store. Mashable reports that the $1.99 PostSecret app was first released in September.

On Sunday, a post on the PostSecret blog by one of the app's creators Frank Warren announced that the app had now been pulled from the App Store. Warren said that while the vast majority of the users of PostSecret used the app the way its creators had intended in the first place, he added: "Unfortunately, the scale of secrets was so large that even 1 (percent) of bad content was overwhelming for our dedicated team of volunteer moderators who worked 24 hours a day 7 days a week removing content that was not just pornographic but also gruesome and at times threatening."

That kind of content also caused users to complain to not just the company but also to Apple and to the FBI. According to Warren, "I was contacted by law enforcement about bad content on the App. Threats were made against users, moderators and my family."

PostSecret's creators tried to come up with a solution, including pre-screening user posts. In the end, Warren said, "Deciding to remove the App from the App Store last week and holding back the release of the Android version cost us money but we feel it was the right thing to do." The PostSecret blog will continue to operate.

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19 Comments

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I just got it from Installous. Obviously there isnt new posts but old ones are still there. I dont see what the big deal is. Alot of I banged my sister when I was young (probably euros) text pasted on an ocean view pic.

Just what kind of secrets were they expecting to get posted?

"Hi I have a secret... I REALLY love my kitty cat!"

GTFO! I bet /b/ brought it down singlehandedly...

So if an app called "post secret" is public, and they get upset because people are posting secrets in a public app, what EXACTLY did they expect?!?!

What would this app be for? I can post secrets..on here for instance.. what is stopping me from doing it elsewhere? If they allowed some clandestine posting of secrets NOBODY is supposed to know because they are "anonymous", then the premise of this app was retarded from the very beginning..

while the vast majority of the users of PostSecret used the app the way its creators had intended...
implying that the intention of the creator is what defines good or bad... sounds like religion.

Uh…you guys realize that Apple didn't pull the app right? The developer pulled it.

PostSecret founder Frank Warren says abusive content

giga said,
Uh…you guys realize that Apple didn't pull the app right? The developer pulled it.

You imply the news article was actually read?

giga said,
Uh…you guys realize that Apple didn't pull the app right? The developer pulled it.

PostSecret founder Frank Warren says abusive content

Wow what a fail by John Callaham, usually he goes to the ends of the earth to ensure that Apple is not presented in a bad light.

giga said,
Uh…you guys realize that Apple didn't pull the app right? The developer pulled it.

PostSecret founder Frank Warren says abusive content

Yeah we see that NOW, however you can't blame us considering Apples history of making stupid and poor judgements before.. like pulling apps for no reason or not allowing too much variety of apps because in their opinion there are "too many".

I don't mind Apple pulling apps, its a business, I get it.. fine. When that app affects apps on *MY* phone and the next time I synch that app *I* paid for or used is ALSO pulled, now that's where I draw the line. FUTURE purchases can be curtailed, but CURRENT users should NOT be affected..

So yeah, maybe we are just a weeee bit Gun Shy over Apple, because they have WAY too much control

iPhone 2G bought the day it came out. Not a Phone like it. 3G Bought, a few phones started to come up like the iPhone, iPhone 3GS bought i..android phones started getting better...iPhone 4..bought it...Blackberry Torch bought it and loved it, bought the 4S because lack of apps on blackberry (now there is spotify on bb i most likely will be going back)

With that said, I do like apple products.. However. the iphone 4S will be my last iPhone. I can not take their closed minded and closed market. This will end up kill apple in 2-3 years.

Fus10n said,
iPhone 2G bought the day it came out. Not a Phone like it. 3G Bought, a few phones started to come up like the iPhone, iPhone 3GS bought i..android phones started getting better...iPhone 4..bought it...Blackberry Torch bought it and loved it, bought the 4S because lack of apps on blackberry (now there is spotify on bb i most likely will be going back)

With that said, I do like apple products.. However. the iphone 4S will be my last iPhone. I can not take their closed minded and closed market. This will end up kill apple in 2-3 years.


Did you actually read the article? The removal of the App has nothing to do with Apple.

Yesterday, I bought an Icy pole. I don't usually eat Icy poles, i usually prefer a cold drink, but yesterday it was so hot that I just needed to have something to cool my mouth and all of the cold drinks had sold out. It was not bad since the last time I ate an Icy pole. It is sort of like a cold drink that melts in your mouth. I prefer raspberry Ice Poles over Lime, but that is just a personal preference, I know that there are some people who prefer Lime. I have both a cat and a dog.

saxondale. said,

Did you actually read the article? The removal of the App has nothing to do with Apple.
It reflects the mindset of people that use Apple and cooperate with Apple.

saxondale. said,

Did you actually read the article? The removal of the App has nothing to do with Apple.

Well in his defense, no we probably DIDN'T read it carefully, however Apple has made some rather stupid or overzealous removals before.. so it was ASSUMED this was yet another one.. Such as google voice not allowed where skype was allowed.. and Apple had another recently citing "they had too many".. wtf constitutes "too many".. isn't that a consumer decision? I left Apple because of this VERY reason, they control content not me.. if I want to use 400 voip apps that is MY decision not theirs.. they don't need to limit the variety to 3 just because THEY feel it's "too many".. if that were the case, then USA Free Enterprise would be dead in the water, because there are "too many" Insurance companies, there are "too many" convenient stores, there are "too many" cereal brands in the store, its too confusing!

Consumers dictate what they want not the only place that allows their sale! If Apple wants to do it fine.. many people are leaving now because of it..

KingCrimson said,
Honestly I don't get it. Will Apple disable Facetime because certain people use it to have cyber-sex? This is so stupid.
The issue here is that PostSecret is a service that publicly displays your "secrets", rather than privately like FaceTime.
For example, if a two people have sex in the privacy of their home, this is private between the two people involved (FaceTime). However, if they decide to go to Times Square and do it there, this would be socially unacceptable (Misuse of PostSecret).

KingCrimson said,
Honestly I don't get it. Will Apple disable Facetime because certain people use it to have cyber-sex? This is so stupid.

Last time I checked (a minute ago) Facetime is live and kicking.