Monday, 19 April 2010 17:02

Microsoft goes too far: Kin sexting scandal erupts


Far out! Microsoft's new Kin mobile phones have a scene in which a young man took a picture of his breast and seemingly sexted it over to a laughing lass, but with sexting a big scandal, has Microsoft's kooky Kin commercial cooked up a suspicious amount of crafty controversy?

Microsoft's newest 'Kin' mobile phones are designed for social networking, using touch screen controls and physical keys to deliver a customised and connected social experience built upon the experience of its Danger HipTop acquisition.

Manufatured by Sharp Corporation, the phones are apparently set in stone, unable to run third party software like the iPhone or Microsoft's own WinMo phones, instead designed to do a few things very well and target the specific needs of the hip and connected young set.

As can be seen over at this CNET article on the unfolding 'kintroversy', the original video (preserved on YouTube) presents a very cool image to potential Kin buyers of young people having lots of fun at some sort of concert in a bar, with this preserved video shows the now infamous 'upshirt' photo flash which sends a manboob shot over to the Kin screen of the aforementioned laughing lass.

However, instead of being a Mark Latham-esque manboob, the man in question appears to be quite fit, thus the boob in question, seen for a millisecond, is one that appears quite cut, leaving Microsoft the real boob in this situation.

Why? Because the issue of sexting is serious, as it often involves young impressionable teens sending each other sexually charged images, often of their own private bits, to their actual or potential partners.

Sometimes these episodes have the unfortunate consequence of being sent around to others, causing the original sextor and even sextee levels of embarrassment - and potential pedophilia charges depending on the age of the people in question - that were never intended to occur, or to be widely shared.

Thus we find that US Consumer and media advocates have erupted in protest over Microsoft's seeming promotion of the act of sexting, with Microsoft reportedly tweeting that: 'Microsoft has deleted the inappropriate portion of the Kin video. We take sexting very seriously, & are sorry it happened.'

So, ad companies of the world - if this was intended to be discovered in a bid to cause controversy and some free publicity, well - you've achieved it.

If it was accidental, well, it's a good lesson to all concerned, as a flash too far 'kin' really ruin your day, and we can be pretty damn sure it's a "flash" that Apple wouldn't support, either.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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