Spare us the iPorn!

X-rated Droid app threatens to expose us to second-hand smut. What ever happened to the boundary between public and private behavior?

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Apple has been oft accused of arbitrariness in the approval process for its App Store – so much so there's a new website dedicated to stories of rejected iPhone applications.

But the Apple folks have been fairly consistent about barring nudity, notably bouncing an app called “Hottest Girls” after it became clear clothing-free pictures were providing the heat.

Now the Android, as PC World reports, may become the mobile device of choice for the terminally crude. An outfit called MiKandi is peddling adult-only apps for the Droid guaranteed to peak prurient interests.

The general porn debate aside, do we really need to see someone next to us on the bus checking out X-rated material on their phone?

The scenario isn’t unlikely as it might sound: a recent Washington Post story offered anecdotes of men using laptops and mobile phones to watch porn in planes, trains, automobiles – and even at a Wizards basketball game.

Mobile devices, in some senses, isolate folks while connecting them to a larger world. There also is a certain public nature to mobile phone use that impacts on others. It can be annoying (loud calls); dangerous (texting while driving) or lewd (exposing others to smut).

There's no legal prohibition against the MiKandi app – nor should there be.
But that doesn’t mean we should tolerate jerks incapable of distinguishing between public and private behavior.

So if you feel the urge to check out some porn on the run, here’s some advice: keep your Droid in your pants (pocket).

Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.

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