Huffpost Technology

Apple Deletes All Emails Containing 'Barely Legal Teens,' Lets Other Spam Phrases Through Scot-Free

Posted: Updated:
"Barely legal teens" are not OK with Apple.

If you try to email a copy of this story to a friend's iCloud email address, it won't arrive. Apple has started to delete any incoming emails containing the phrase "barely legal teen" from users' iCloud accounts while letting other spammy phrases through without even a warning.

It's not just obviously creepy spam containing those words that Apple's deleting, as MacWorld found. Dan Moren and Lex Friedman did some experiments and discovered that Apple will delete emails that contain the phrase in absolutely any capacity, including if the email has the phrase "barely legal teens" within a zipped PDF attached to it.

What's puzzling is that Apple seemingly chose to block this one phrase but not others. To check how the system worked, we sent messages containing typical spam words and phrases to an iCloud email address to see what happened. We sent seven emails containing words like "p0rn," "guaranteed loan" and "male enhancement," and all of them got through without so much as a spam warning. Our email containing "barely legal teen" did not. It's not clear how Apple decided to ban "barely legal teens" but not other phrases. Since Apple never announced that it was deleting emails with the phrase, how are we to know that they're not striking out other emails as well? We reached out to the company for comment and will update if we get it.

As Moren and Friedman point out, there are a ton of potential issues with automatically deleting these emails. What if you're trying to send a work of fiction containing these words, as one screenwriter did according to InfoWorld? What if you wanted to email your friend this article, alerting them of Apple's policy? And, most importantly, why must Apple outright delete these messages rather than simply marking them as spam and filtering them away from user's inboxes?

Update: A representative from Apple told The Huffington Post: "Occasionally automated spam filters may incorrectly block legitimate email. If a customer feels that a legitimate message is blocked, we encourage customers to report it to AppleCare."

Also on The Huffington Post

Top 9 Spamming Countries
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Apple blocks emails containing phrase 'barely legal teen'

Apple Doesn't Want You Emailing About "Barely Legal Teens"

Apple erasing iCloud emails containing phrase 'barely legal teen'

 
From Our Partners