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  • iChatr Pulled From App Store Over "Inappropriate" Use



    It will come as little surprise to many that the iChatr app has been removed by Apple. To be sure, nothing was wrong with the app itself. The problem, however, had to do with how people were using it. Often likened to Chatroulette in concept, iChatr lets users randomly connect with other users via the iPhone 4 - sort of like what an internet dating service would provide, minus all the needless attention on predetermined compatibility.

    As it turns out, Apple felt it had no choice but to pull the plug after one too many complaints were filed noting that users were... shall we say, using iChatr inappropriately. As reported by 9to5Mac, "The iChatr application has currently been removed from the App Store due to reports of a number of users exposing themselves during the random video chat sessions." Oh, the joys of a front-facing smartphone camera! And unless the developer figures out a way to curb this unfortunate trend, it looks as though iChatr won't be able to call the App Store home. Of course, it is a safe bet that any app capable of randomly pairing iPhone 4 owners in a video chat will ultimately have similar problems.

    A few days after iChatr was released, I was contacted by more than a few iChatr users who expressed their concern with the company they found themselves keeping. Although no one reported the same problem to me that allegedly caused Apple to swiftly yank the app, one MMi reader bluntly put it this way: "I've never met creepier people in my life." To be fair, it's nearly impossible to fault the app's makers, Apple, or the iPhone 4 for this issue. Whenever random video chats are possible, the possibilities (good or bad) are endless. And it's only a matter of time before incidents like these are "exposed" - pun intended.

    9to5Mac
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iChatr Pulled From App Store Over "Inappropriate" Use started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 133 Comments
    1. ronfin44's Avatar
      ronfin44 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zystem View Post
      Ah man I was really looking forward to watching other dudes jergen their gergen on the retina display. Now my aspirations in life are ruined.
      It's OK. Stickam is still online! lol
    1. GellBrake'rrrr's Avatar
      GellBrake'rrrr -
      [quote=~rage;5350442]But there are a LOT of apps that are as "harmful" as this one in the app store right now that don't have all these age verification measures you say this one should have. All they have is that "You must be 17+ to download warning" and that's all. Shouldn't we demand those to be pulled to? And what about Facetime? Shouldn't Apple disable it, too because though it may be to a lesser extent, there's still the possibility for abuse.


      Quote Originally Posted by GellBrake'rrrr View Post

      Dude! Lol, to be clear, I'm not trying to start a war with you. Just trying to have a simple discussion

      Also, I wasn't knocking his grammar so much as I was calling him out on bashing all who disagreed with him. Sorry, but "ANYONE WHO DOESN'T ... AGREE ...WITH ME IS A PE..RV!!" is not a proper way to speak to people.
      I agree that he has some issues of his own.... as posted at the beginning of his post "that he didn't want to disclose", but in regards to facetime, it is a little different. OK.... A LOT DIFFERENT!!! It's a complete stranger. Don't get me wrong here. Uncle Chester could pull a stunt, hahahaha, but that's not a great comparisson to iChatr. Sorry! But, you know i'm right.

      And as for "sami4021", if a verification for age needed were as simple as you put it, then you need some age verification yourself. If you can open your little mind enough that maybe, just maybe, an app could be required to have the iphone's user login AND password to access such an app, then we might not lose such usefull apps that are inteneded for "US", not just anyone who uses our phone/ipod/ipad.

      Just my opinion. I definately feel that this app should still be here. Just think that if it were created with more thoughtfulness of who might get a hold of it, and how to keep it away from those who are not capable of knowing the difference.
    1. PWNsyst3m's Avatar
      PWNsyst3m -
      That episode was hilarious. Every other person was a penis. Lmao. And yea I would of loved to see peoples reaction, bet some of those viewers were probably scarred for life. Hahahaha.
    1. Dayvidpriddy's Avatar
      Dayvidpriddy -
      Quote Originally Posted by ronfin44 View Post
      It's OK. Stickam is still online! lol
      Thanks for the recomendation man...I had no idea these apps even existed. I thought the camera would only work with facetime. This is wild! It's funny I only saw a few guy cams and all of them said "nohomo" on their cams and then the rest were all girls doing stupid things.
    1. ~rage's Avatar
      ~rage -
      [quote=GellBrake'rrrr;5350453]
      Quote Originally Posted by ~rage View Post
      But there are a LOT of apps that are as "harmful" as this one in the app store right now that don't have all these age verification measures you say this one should have. All they have is that "You must be 17+ to download warning" and that's all. Shouldn't we demand those to be pulled to? And what about Facetime? Shouldn't Apple disable it, too because though it may be to a lesser extent, there's still the possibility for abuse.




      I agree that he has some issues of his own.... as posted at the beginning of his post "that he didn't want to disclose", but in regards to facetime, it is a little different. OK.... A LOT DIFFERENT!!! It's a complete stranger. Don't get me wrong here. Uncle Chester could pull a stunt, hahahaha, but that's not a great comparisson to iChatr. Sorry! But, you know i'm right.

      And as for "sami4021", if a verification for age needed were as simple as you put it, then you need some age verification yourself. If you can open your little mind enough that maybe, just maybe, an app could be required to have the iphone's user login AND password to access such an app, then we might not lose such usefull apps that are inteneded for "US", not just anyone who uses our phone/ipod/ipad.

      Just my opinion. I definately feel that this app should still be here. Just think that if it were created with more thoughtfulness of who might get a hold of it, and how to keep it away from those who are not capable of knowing the difference.
      We could argue all day over facetime but instead I'll concede to you that point, good sir =P Because tho their is still that possibility, it's slim

      But as to you last point, there is really no way to make it child-proof. With any 'pen-pal'-esque, random person meeting style app there will never be a way to weed out the crazies and the creepers from the start. As a developer, all you can do is rely on common sense, in general and provide people with a way to disconnect from those who abuse the service and ideally, someway to a.) report the person or their IP and/or b.) block them from coming into contact with said abuser. To expect anything else would be an unfair burden.
    1. EddieLeonard's Avatar
      EddieLeonard -
      instead of face recognition they could have "feature" recognition and then censor the parts :P
    1. csworrell's Avatar
      csworrell -
      Probably a group of liberal psychopath mothers got together and "empowered" one another at their weight watchers class, and said. "THIS APP IS INAPPROPRIATE" and they did some kind of online protest. Like for example. Emailing the ACLU " Thats if they even have computers " Then Steve jobs being a weird tool as he is. Ordered his cyber world police to take it down.


      Apple. Sometimes you can eat a d1ck.
    1. trek-life's Avatar
      trek-life -
      Quote Originally Posted by ronfin44 View Post
      Calm down Pope John Paul. If a young adult decides they wanna test an app like this knowing that idiots out there might be yanking their man poles, then by all means it's their choice to do so. Is a picture of some weirdo yankin their junk really gonna affect you? Close the app. You people over-react to crap way too much. If my mom or sister were on their then it's THEIR DECISION TO BE THERE! They're adults. If they were underage then still, it's just the human body they're looking at if THEY SO CHOOSE TO. You morality cops need to stfu and take care of your OWN issues and stop worrying about what others are doing. I could care less about this stupid app and the douchebags that yank their wanks to random people, but at the same time wont get all emo over something so damn petty in life over sexual expression regardless of what YOU dopes think about it. Go tell Jesus how you feel and stop crying. Hypocrites. Close the app or dont use it. Simple, like your minds.
      Lol @ you randomly finding a way to sneak in some anti religious nonsense on a message board where a few people are stating opinions on an iPhone application

      Keep fighting the good fight there buddy

      If there was a way to make it kid proof that would be fine by me. Parents would need to be mindful of this app regardless and keep tabs on this so their kids aren't stalked by some gross perv

      Other than that, we're all adults we can choose to simply not use the app and life would go on
    1. GellBrake'rrrr's Avatar
      GellBrake'rrrr -
      [QUOTE=~rage;5350467]
      Quote Originally Posted by GellBrake'rrrr View Post

      We could argue all day over facetime but instead I'll concede to you that point, good sir =P Because tho their is still that possibility, it's slim

      But as to you last point, there is really no way to make it child-proof. With any 'pen-pal'-esque, random person meeting style app there will never be a way to weed out the crazies and the creepers from the start. As a developer, all you can do is rely on common sense, in general and provide people with a way to disconnect from those who abuse the service and ideally, someway to a.) report the person or their IP and/or b.) block them from coming into contact with said abuser. To expect anything else would be

      an unfair burden.
      If you didn't understand my reasoning for undeveloped/ possibly unavailable way to at least have a way to keep children from logging in to such apps, then we're getting nowhere in this conversation. I hope that you see where I'm REALLY coming from! I don't want to see it gone. Just think that if the devs of this app where to take this into consideration, then we probably wouldn't be having this discussion in the first place.

      Are you not with me that apps that could be damaging could use a little more protection than general apps such as facebook, FaceTime, or other apps in this category?

      I'm down for freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and if what others want, freedom of c0ck in their face, it should have some steeper restrictions.

      Devs may need to have a new rule to imply in order to publish.

      Like I said befor it's just my opinion.

      Anyways, I have to work in 4 hours. I need a little sleep before I go off on some absolute stranger.
    1. EddieLeonard's Avatar
      EddieLeonard -
      if it was kids doing that sort of thing then there parents should make sure to put the content block on there iphones and ipod touchs. thats what my aunty has done with her daughters iphone
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Apple are doing what they have to. The media loves to circle around Apple like vultures and they would love to start a story of how Apple lets kids watch random penises from an App and then blow it out of proportion, and ignore the fact that the same can be done on any other internet capable device, or explain that this is what Parental Control is for.
      If I was Apple, I'd pull these Apps too, not because of their content but because of the inevitable clusterfúck that the media would turn it into to.
    1. adrian1480's Avatar
      adrian1480 -
      expected.

      the app was full of dudes dangling their dongs.
    1. badass1469's Avatar
      badass1469 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Matt27272 View Post
      It's just Steve Jobs trying to "protect us from porn".
      yea right i bet Steve had his nuts hanging out in this app too lol
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      so lemme get this straight, Apple pulls an app because "users" were using it "inappropriately"?
    1. digzz's Avatar
      digzz -
      Quote Originally Posted by jOnGarrett View Post
      so lemme get this straight, Apple pulls an app because "users" were using it "inappropriately"?
      Yep.....People Wannking and showing there ****.....
    1. Blufox's Avatar
      Blufox -
      Oy, some of you have some really awful ways of defending your stances on censorship. This app was one of the less sleazy in my opinion. Granted, I never actually used the app, but I have seen plenty of screenshots from random disgustingness off of ChatRoulette to know exactly what was going on here.

      You talk about stalkers and pervs ... This is one of the ONLY apps, filled with inappropriate users, that DIDN'T include distance between users. 98% of the 'social networking' perv filled apps include a way to know approximately how far you are from the people you are talking to. There are at least 20-30 more apps out there that show just as much as ChatRoulette did, that have been around since the 3g was released. I actually think some might have even been around for the first gen phones.

      People need to learn how to use parental controls. It is not the media, or the corporate giants that should have to teach our children wrong from right. That is where a lot of our problems today come from in the first place. I can guarantee that prime time television has corrupted more kids than this app even came close to touching.
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      I want an I4 for sure!
    1. tsatryan's Avatar
      tsatryan -
      This really brings new meaning to using an iPhone 4 with a "death grip," "holding it the wrong way," and "touching it on the bottom left corner." And that it would work better with a case on it. There's no end to the puns...
    1. chris619's Avatar
      chris619 -
      they should put it in cydia
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      Seriously, Front facing camera, facetime Apple knew where this feature was going