Banned 'Bang with Friends' returns to Apple's App Store as 'Down'
More than three months after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) banned controversial hookup service Bang with Friends from its App Store, the application has returned in less risqué form under the name Down.
Bang with Friends, first launched on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) earlier this year, allows users to "nudge" contacts to express their amorous interests. More than 1 million users have signed up. The app rolled out to Apple's iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android in May, and the Android version has remained available for download from the Google Play storefront under its original name.
On its App Store page, the rebranded Down calls itself "the anonymous, simple, fun way to find friends who are interested in you," eliminating the suggestive language and imagery employed to market the previous version.
Down carries a suggested age rating of 17, the App Store's highest age rating. Apps that earn a 17+ tag may contain offensive language, violence, adult themes, sexual content, nudity, alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Apple routinely rejects submissions that push those boundaries past their breaking point, however, although it has never made clear just how far publishers and developers can go before running afoul of App Store censors.
Apple has a long history of removing and restricting sexually explicit apps. Back in 2010, Apple CEO Steve Jobs proclaimed the company maintains a "moral responsibility" to keep questionable content off the iOS platform, and earlier this year, the App Store banned photo and video sharing applications like Twitter's Vine and 500px for containing mature content. Those apps and others including Tumblr were eventually updated to the 17+ classification as well.
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