Apple patent would eliminate dirty text messages

The US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Apple a patent for its idea for a "text-based communication control for personal communication device[s]." Let me translate that for you: no more naughty words in text. The idea has a lot of folks up in arms, but, really, you shouldn't care. Here's why.

First, take a gander at the key text from the patent:

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.

Oh, no! Apple is taking away our ability to get nice and nasty through text messages! No, the patent — filed by Apple back in 2008 — would simply add a control filter that parents could theoretically activate on a minor's phone, and said minor could theoretically find a way to undermine said system because that's just how it goes.

In short, if someone deemed too young by their parents tries to send adult texts, the words would be blocked or changed. Really, you should only be worried right now if you have overbearing parents — the rest of us will probably never know this feature even exists if or when Apple rolls it out.

Free Patents Online, via TechCrunch

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