Earlier this week, Reddit belatedly launched its first official app for iOS and Android, to the pleasure of the site’s millions of users. In the wake of the launch, however, it appears that several third-party Reddit client apps are now mysteriously being removed from the Apple App Store.
A number of threads devoted to the phenomenon have been created on Reddit by disgruntled users, pointing out that the likes of Alien Blue, Antenna, Eggplant, and Baconreader are nowhere to be found. Consequently, when you search for a client such as Eggplant on the App Store, you are provided with a result for the official Reddit iOS app instead.
Although this raises suspicions as to Reddit’s involvement in the mass takedown, it appears that Apple is in fact to blame. In one of the Reddit threads, Stephen Ceresia, the developer of the Eggplant client (which was also removed), states that Apple notified him of the removal of the app. “Woke up and was pretty shocked to see my app removed for this reason (“having a NSFW toggle”),” he writes. “Apple followed up and said if I remove the NSFW toggle in my app I can resubmit it.”
It seems that Apple is targeting these clients over their violation of clause 18:2 of the App Store Review Guidelines regarding pornography, which reads: “Apps that contain user-generated content that is frequently pornographic (e.g. “Chat Roulette” Apps) will be rejected.”
Pointing out the hypocrisy in Apple’s approach, Reddit users claim that even the official Reddit app for iOS contains pornographic material. Others claim that a client for the similar link-sharing service, 4Chan, is still operating on the App Store, which also reportedly breaks the same guideline.
The good news for those who have already purchased or downloaded the unofficial Reddit apps in question is that they are still operating. Additionally, even if you happen to have deleted them, you can re-download them from your purchased apps list in the App Store.
This is a developing story, and we will keep you updated as to the latest details as they come in.