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WM6.5 and WP7 App Content Policies Compared – Pretty Damn Similar

mirror About a week ago Matt ran an article about the lack of porn on WP7. At the time it was all the rage since the content policies seemed to be new and shocking. But for those of you who followed the comments you may have seen Matt and I exchange thoughts and I pointed out that the Windows Mobile 6.5 content restrictions and the Windows Phone 7 content restrictions are pretty damn near identical…pretty near. Let’s take a look at all of the content policies for 6.5 and 7 and you can be the judge.


I’ll get to porn…no need to need to be too quick to pull that trigger:) I’ll follow MS’s order. In a few cases the changes are pretty minor so I’ll show it like a redline from 6.5 to 7 so you’ll see the old language crossed out and the new language in red and underlined (yup, like Word). First up:

Licensed Content, Name, Logo & Trademarks: Identical

Content allowed where:

  • Content and application name are original or licensed.
  • Copyrighted content that is used with permission. Use of branded items (logos/trademarks) has been approved by the brand owners.
  • If an application depicts any mobile or wired telephone, handheld PDA, or any other data and voice communicator, it must be either generic or a Windows Phone device.
  • It is the application provider‟s responsibility to determine if the application provider has the right to use the chosen name, content, logos, copyright, trademarks, online services & API‟s.

Illegal or Contemplates Harm: Almost identical

  • Any content that is illegal under applicable local law, obscene, or indecent.
  • Any content that contemplates depicts or encourages harm or violence against a person or animal in the real world.

Defamatory, Libelous, Slanderous, and Threatening Identical

Content not allowed:

  • Any content that is defamatory, libelous, slanderous, or threatening.
  • Any content that facilitates or promotes content prohibited by these guidelines.

Hate Speech or Discriminatory Identical

Content not allowed:

  • Any content that advocates discrimination, hatred, or violence based on considerations of race, ethnicity, national origin, language, gender, age, disability, status as a veteran, religion, sexual orientation or expression, or that promotes organizations devoted to that purpose. Such content can include images or text that perpetuates a negative stereotype of a race, gender, sexual preference or religion. We are particularly inclined to act against content where there is evidence that the intent of posting was to harass, threaten, or insult an individual or group on one of these bases.

Alcohol, Tobacco, Weapons, and Drugs Tweaked

Content not allowed:

  • Any content that facilitates or promotes, whether directly or indirectly, the illegal (under applicable local law) or excessive sale or use of alcohol or tobacco products, drugs, or weapons is not allowed on any section/site, regardless of targeting.
  • Any content with prolonged and/or excessive use of firearms or weapons or other content that facilitates the use of firearms or weapons. Any content that facilitates the use of weapons in the real world.

Content allowed with restrictions:

  • Weapon imagery, so long as it is not depicted in the act of harming humans or otherwise inconsistent with the Windows® Marketplace for Mobile guidelines on violence

Note from author: Interesting change here but go down to “Violence” below that includes more restrictions that are tied into this.

Adult Related Content. This is the big kahuna. And there’s almost no change

Content not allowed:

  • Sex / Nudity – Images that are suggestive or sexual sexually suggestive or provocative (e.g. sexually provocative touching, bondage, masturbation); or provocative images that reveal nipples, genitals, buttocks, or pubic hair.
  • Any adult and/or borderline adult content (images or text). Content that a reasonable person would consider to be adult or borderline adult content (images, text, or audio).
  • Content that generally falls under the category of pornography.
  • Content that depicts or suggests prostitution.
  • Any Content depicting sexual fetishes.
  • Any Content of a sexual nature depicting children or animals.

Note from author: Ok so sexual audio is out now. Otherwise, it pretty much seems like the same general rule so if it passed for 6.5 it should pass for 7.

Certain Types of Illegal Activity Identical
Content not allowed:

  • Any content that facilitates or promotes illegal gambling, illegal adult content and/or pornography, child pornography, bestiality, piracy, illegal online pharmacies, illegal drugs, or criminal or terrorist activities.
  • Any content that instructs users how to make bombs or weapons, drugs, or solicits involvement in behavior that is violent or illegal under applicable local law.
  • Unauthorized use of another entity‟s intellectual property, including but not limited to: software, music, art, and other copyrighted, trademarked or patented materials or trade secrets.
  • Any content that facilitates or promotes underage drinking, consumption of illegal drugs, or socially irresponsible behavior due to alcohol or drug consumption (e.g., drinking and driving).

Violence This is actually where the most changes occur. A ‘redline’ doesn’t work here because things were reworked in the way they set it up but I’ll give you a near blackline that’s not verbatim to help you. In the end there’s not much tot he changes 
Content not allowed:

  • Realistic or gratuitous violence, including depictions of the following:
    Decapitation, impaling, blood splatter/blood spurting/blood pooling, killing, cruelty, excessive violence or gore
    Excessive and gratuitous amounts of blood and/or fleshy body parts, blood spurting from wounds.
    People or creatures on fire
    Cruelty to animals
    Audio of humans or animals suffering
  • Repeated blows or shots inflicted upon people/creatures, violent blows to the head, guns/weapons pointed at head, impaling, exploding body parts, guns/weapons pointed toward reader/audience, depictions of fatal injuries, strangulation/choking, inflicting wounds with swords/knives.
  • Involuntary or physically-resisted sexual interactions with violent or illicit overtones
  • Rape, sexual assault
  • Molestation, physical child abuse
  • Requests or instructions to injure or otherwise harm a real-world person or group of people
  • Glorification of crimes against humanity such as genocide and torture

Note from author: They actually streamlined these. Several items were removed and others combined. If you look at these side by side it’s now easier on the eye now but in the end it doesn’t like a ton changed. You can kill with a knife now:)

Excessive Profanity Identical
Content not allowed:

  • Any content with the excessive use of profanity or adult language.

Ok so there it is. Now you be the judge. I’m calling the entire thing much ado about nothing. Little has changed. Most of it was grammatical in nature. The one biggie is a game that ‘facilitates’ real world weapon use. Your thoughts?

For your own chance to view original content from MS here’s a link to the Windows Mobile 6.5 content policy restrictions and here it is for WP7.