Apple’s iBooks is filled with erotic literature that supports rape myths, normalizes adult-with-teen-themed and incest-themed exploitation, and reinforces degrading racially charged sexual stereotypes. This is inconsistent with Apple’s other policies that have kept pornography off of their app store and Apple TV streaming devices, and so we hope Apple will remedy this unfortunate and toxic oversight.
Many stories feature “barely legal,” student-teacher, and “babysitter” sex. While authors may briefly note the characters are of legal age, the covers feature young girls dressed up as children or in explicitly sexual positions and the motifs are clearly designed to indulge the fantasy of statutory rape between an adult and a young teenager. In fact, many of the book descriptions mention that the girl is reluctant to participate or is involved in “forced sex.”
Forced sex is rape.
Additionally, erotic stories on iBooks target Black, Asian, Latin, and Indian races with a variety of the books involve bondage and submission of minority races to white males.
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Learn more and take action below to tell Apple and iBooks to stop promoting sexual exploitation.
The Content on iBooks is Harmful
Apple claims to be “committed to treating everyone in our business and supply chain with the dignity and respect they deserve. …We raise the bar every year to improve conditions and protect human rights. We do this because it’s the right thing to do, not because it’s required by law.”
Apple claims to care about humans, but the violent novels they sell portray sexual and domestic abuse as normal or even expected. Normalizing abuse in stories is far from harmless.
Media—whether in the form of the written word, or movies, or songs, etc.— is a powerful driver of social norms.
Cognitive script theory asserts that media provides a heuristic learning model that outlines: 1) what should or should not be happening in a given scenario, 2) how others will respond to certain actions, and 3) what the total outcome will be of a given scenario.
Researchers explain that media of all kinds create “an easily accessible memory structure for real-world decision-making that circumvents critical analysis.”
In other words, the “fantasy” world of iBooks content is not constrained to the realm of the imagination but has real-world implications and impact. Because people learn by consuming media, and because literature has a long-recognized impact on public opinion and social trends, the themes of rape, incest, and racism that iBooks promotes are especially troubling.
Apple Is Promoting This Content With Reckless Disregard.@Apple is aware of the sexually graphic and racially charged content on iBooks but has not taken steps to remove it. #CleanUpiBooks Click To Tweet
During the publication process, Apple provides two sources for authors to use when defining their book’s genre. One of these lists a variety of genres, subgenres, and sub-subgenres (the format is thus: Genre/Subgenre/Sub-subgenre) for the author to pick from, making categories fairly specific. For example: Fiction/African American/Erotica.
Apple encourages authors to correctly label their genres by providing these sources but doesn’t transparently inform readers of the true category system in iBooks. “Erotica” isn’t listed under the African American Fiction category on the main page, but is the second section once you enter the African American Fiction page itself.
This means that people are easily accidentally exposed to sexually graphic material.
Even worse, iBooks often autopopulated suggested search terms with sexually graphic content, even for innocent partial searched like “dad” or “or…” or “se…”
A lot of erotic content on iBooks isn’t even labeled under the title of “erotica” but is deceptively located under the ambiguous section title “What’s Hot.” This section heading suggests to the Apple user that these books may be the most popular, and, believing that the topic is “safe,” they may read, or worse, allow their children to read, selections without suspecting the content may be harmful.
Apple needs to stop facilitating racially charged, sexual exploitation and #CleanUpiBooks!
Parents: Learn iBooks Safety
We can walk you through the protections iBooks provides and what they don’t protect you from. Read here.
Email iBooks and Apple Executives
Tweet at iBooks and Apple
Contacting companies on social media is a great way to get their attention, so please join with us in contacting iBooks on Twitter!
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