Article first published as Too Sexy For Your Text? Apple Patents Anti-Sexting Technology on Technorati.
The new question though is: “Too Sexy For My Texts?”
And Apple apparently thinks so.
Fresh off the heels of their newly acquired trademark for their popular marketing slogan, “There’s an app for that,” the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a new patent Tuesday that could put an end to the practice of “sexting” and improper text slang as we know it. The technology works as a filter preventing the user of the handset from sending and receiving sexually explicit texts. Presumably achieved by comparing the message in question against a list of offensive words and expressions, the filter may also censor content based on a user’s age in an effort to make the content more “user appropriate.”
The fact that Apple pursued such a patent could be hailed as an innovative attempt at giving parents more control over the content their teens send with their device.
There is however a much more basic question: Why is the conversation focused on the filtering technology itself and not on parental intervention about discussing what’s appropriate? If this technology is all that’s standing in the way of teens sending and receiving such material, (and parents are reliant on it), maybe it’s time to reconsider if they should even have a phone at all.
As TechCruch author Alexia Tsotsis pointed out when she first reported the story, the technology is hardly foolproof.
….those interesting in “sexting” will probably find some clever workaround to express how much they want to bang, screw, hit it or a myriad of other words that don’t immediately set off the censorship sensors.
News of the patent led me to envisioning just how the implementation would work. The clip below is from last week’s episode of the CBS sitcom, Two And A Half Men: