Home Apple Awarded a Patent To Prevent Texting “Objectionable Content”

Apple Awarded a Patent To Prevent Texting “Objectionable Content”

Apple has been awarded a patent that can keep you from sending or receiving “objectionable” text-messages. The patent, filed in January of 2008 and approved today, will allow certain content to be filtered, based on parental controls.

The description of the patent doesn’t mention sexting, although that may be the main thing many parents would want to forbid. Rather, it gives the example of parents requiring a set number of words per day be included in emails for a child learning Spanish. And parental control applications to encourage language acquisition are, indeed, innovative.

The abstract of the patent reads:

Systems, devices, and methods are provided for enabling a user to control the content of text-based messages sent to or received from an administered device. In some embodiments, a message will be blocked (incoming or outgoing) if the message includes forbidden content. In other embodiments, the objectionable content is removed from the message prior to transmission or as part of the receiving process. The content of such a message is controlled by filtering the message based on defined criteria. The criteria may be defined according to a parental control application. These techniques also may be used, in accordance with instructional embodiments, to require the administered devices to include certain text in messages. These embodiments might, for example, require that a certain number of Spanish words per day be included in e-mails for a child learning Spanish.

Having these sorts of controls may be one more step in keeping Apple devices safe from porn. And arguably, they may help make the iPhone more workplace and school-friendly. Or it may be another step towards Apple authoritarian control over our mobile devices.

I asked my seventeen-year-old if having these sorts of parental controls over the content of text messages would change teen behavior. He declined to comment – mortified, I’m sure, that I had the audacity to even raise the subject of sexting. But then, I swear, I saw him look down at his Android and smile.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.