Apple granted patent to monitor and block sexting teens

Wed, Oct 13, 2010


Originally filed in January 2008, Apple was recently granted a patent that would allow parents to enable precautionary measures that would prevent their children from sexting. Titled “Text-based communication control for personal communication device” the software described therein prevents a user from sending out or receiving texts that contain certain dirty or offensive words.

Interestingly, the level of scrutiny applied by the software can be dynamically adjusted to account for changes in a child’s age and/or grade.

In one embodiment, the control application includes a parental control application. The parental control application evaluates whether or not the communication contains approved text based on, for example, objective ratings criteria or a user’s age or grade level, and, if unauthorized, prevents such text from being included in the text-based communication. If the control contains unauthorized text, the control application may alert the user, the administrator or other designated individuals of the presence of such text. The control application may require the user to replace the unauthorized text or may automatically delete the text or the entire communication.

So does this spell the end for sexting? To put it mildly – not bloody likely. Kids are kids and they’ll inevitably come up with lingo to circumvent whatever precautionary measures their parents might enact. And while some people think they’re down with online lingo since they know terms like OMG, LOL, and WTF, you’d be genuinely surprised at the breadth of online slang today’s kids use that most adults have never heard of.


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