Steve Jobs on freedom and porn

Pete Sanlon has a fascinating post on Steve Jobs, Apple and pom:

Jobs has argued that he wants his portable computer devices to not sell or stock pomography.

When a critic emailed him to say that this infringed his freedoms, Jobs emailed back and told him to buy a different type of computer.

Steve Jobs is a fan of Bob Dylan. So one customer emailed him to ask how Dylan would feel about Jobs’ restrictions of customers’ freedoms.

The CEO of Apple replied to say that he values:

‘Freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from pom. Yep, freedom. The times they are a changin’ and some traditional PC folks feel their world is slipping away. It is.’

The interlocuter replied:

“I don’t want ‘freedom from porn’. Pom is just fine! And I think my wife would agree.”

In the most revealing line, Steve Jobs dismissed the critic thus:

“You might care more about pom when you have kids.”

Pause for a moment and consider what the above emails represent.

The CEO of one of the wealthiest, most successful international companies, responds to the email of a customer. Business prospers on the mantra ‘The customer is always right.’ Business wants the customers’ money.

But in this case, over the moral issue of pomography, Jobs is happy to tell customers to buy a different product. He argues that children and innocence ought to be preserved—and that trumps the dollar.

Google (with their motto ‘Don’t be evil’) rake in billions through pomography. Ranks of employees spend their time categorising and arranging advertising for pomography. (I know, I spent some time discussing the difficulties posed to a Christian who worked in their UK HQ.) Pomography is huge business, yet here is the CEO of Apple telling the pomography businesses to take their dollars elsewhere.

I’m delighted by Steve Jobs’ attitude to pom. I’m astonished by his biblical definition of freedom. Freedom is not about having lots of choice. We have been deceived into holding this false definition of freedom by neo-liberal economists. True freedom is the ability to choose or to be the best. God’s freedom does not lie in the fact that he can do either good or evil. It lies in the fact that he can always do and be what is best. Freedom is not being able to choose whether you view pom or not. It’s the ability to live the good life which is life in relationship to God and under his authority. And that means freedom includes freedom from pom.

For more on pomography see my book, Captured By A Better Vision: Living Porn-Free, IVP, 2010. It’s available here from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

HT: Justin Taylor

15 thoughts on “Steve Jobs on freedom and porn

  1. Pingback: iPads, Slavery, and Porn | Strange Blog

  2. Let’s not overlook the fact that the Playboy app exists for the iPhone. This is a nice story but as with most things this is not clear cut.

  3. Pingback: Steve Jobs on Internet Freedom « THE TANKERFIELD BLOG

  4. Pingback: Weekly Hit List #19 | :: VFAM.COM ::

  5. Pingback: Pornography? Not on Apple Products « Thinking Out Loud

  6. Pingback: Walking the Road: 5/24/10 Edition « The Road Less Traveled

  7. Pingback: Q marks the spot – Treasure Map 21 (June 2010) « Quaerentia

  8. Well, there’s a chance Jobs can do it. You see, Sj has declared war on Flash (read war on the most popular porn movie format) and he’s gonna win. YouTube, Vimeo and others have already switched to h.264 and got their apps for ipad approved.

    More here: Jobs Declares War on Porn

  9. Pingback: Steve Jobs on freedom and porn (via Tim Chester) « the soapbox

Comments are closed.