All the companies behind app stores have differing views on what should and shouldn’t be allowed from apps that developers submit for inclusion. Just where Microsoft draws the line in what content it allows in the Windows Phone Marketplace is currently being tested, with the case of an app that finds random images on Twitter.
Imagewind lets you view random pics, pulling them from what’s recently been tweeted about. Obviously, with a fully random selection, some of the time the app will deliver images that some users find objectionable. After letting the app go up for sale, last week Microsoft revisited Imagewind and notified the author that he would need to filter out that potentially objectionable content or remove the app from the Marketplace. Since the whole point of Imagewind is that you don’t know what you’ll stumble upon next, it has to have access to a random, unpredictable assortment of pics if it’s to be effective.
After going public with these events, Imagewind’s author has been notified that Microsoft isn’t going to force the app out straight away, but is taking a little time to think about and codify its position on this kind of content in apps.
Other companies have dealt with this issue before, but it will be interesting to see where Microsoft ends up standing. Does it make any sense to hold apps to a higher standard than, say, your company’s own web browser (which could just as easily access the same potentially-objectionable content)?