Has Apple Banned Grindr? Did eBay Ban Erotica?

A viral tweet about living in a ‘Christian Dystopia’ is a mix of false and misleading claims.

A viral tweet claims that, among other things, Apple has banned gay dating app Grindr from the App Store and Texas has banned strippers under the age of 21 and abortion in the state:

The claim regarding Apple came after the tech company updated its App Store guidelines. As a part of the update, Apple said it would be cracking down on apps that offered prostitution and pornography under the guise of being dating apps. A spokesman from Apple told website Apple Insider that the guideline change wouldn’t affect Grindr or other dating apps, or indeed dating apps in general as long as their legitimate purpose was facilitating dating. 

EBay, too, has cracked down on the spread of pornography on its website,and starting June 15 will no longer allow sellers to list “sexually explicit anime, comics, books, animation, manga, hentai, yaoi.” This policy, however, is oriented toward preventing the selling of content that visually depicts explicit content: In a statement shared with The Dispatch Fact Check, eBay representative Parmita Choudhury explained the new policy applies to “items showing sexual content or sexually suggestive poses.” Thus, contrary to what the viral tweet suggests, erotica can continue to be sold on eBay as long as the cover does not show sexual content.

It is correct that Texas has made it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to work as a stripper in the state. The bipartisan bill was recently signed into law by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and raises the age requirement to 21 years old for individuals working “on the premises of a sexually oriented business.”.

On May 19, Abbott signed a law stating that “a physician may not knowingly perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman unless the physician has determined … whether the woman's unborn child has a detectable fetal heartbeat.” The law creates an exception if the physician determines a medical emergency makes an abortion necessary. Critics have noted that fetal heartbeats can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, limiting the window in which a woman can legally seek an abortion in Texas.

The claims in the viral post are mixed: Apple has not banned Grindr and erotica can still be sold and purchased on eBay. While Texas has banned those under the age of 21 from working at sexually oriented businesses, the state has limited but not fully banned abortion. 

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