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Pedobear iPhone app vanishes from Apple store

pedobear

The character, renamed Cuddle Bear, promised to teach 11 ‘exotic’ hip-hop dance moves

LAST UPDATED 3:17 PM, JULY 13, 2011

The notorious cartoon character Pedobear, beloved of internet pranksters, has been evicted from the Apple App Store after being spotted teaching hip-hop dance moves to the owners of iPhones and iPads.

The innocent-looking beast, who is supposedly a mascot for paedophiles, was renamed "Cuddle Bear" for the free dancing app, which promised to show users 11 "exotic" moves to the accompaniment of a "killer background soundtrack".

The game also featured a link to CatchKuma.com, an "internet meme apparel" store, which sells Pedobear/Cuddlebear hats for $19.99.

Although the app was first made available on June 25, Cuddle Bear was not unmasked until this week, at which point the app promptly disappeared. But getting such an infamous internet joke past security at Apple and surviving two weeks represents a huge success for the jokers behind the app.

It is certainly Pedobear's most high-profile appearance for over a year. In 2010, when sketches of the character appeared on billboards in Malta advertising the visit of the Pope, the graffiti was thought to be a reference to child abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church.

But perhaps Pedobear's most celebrated moment came earlier that year, when the character was mistaken for one of the mascots of the 2010 Winter Olympics by a Polish newspaper.

Pedobear has become one of the internet's most enduring 'memes', or in-jokes. The cartoon first appeared on Japanese bulletin board 2Chan and was adopted by users of its successor 4Chan, an anarchic place that has spawned hacktivist groups like Anonymous. Originally, pictures of the bear were used to highlight inappropriate material involving minors that had been posted on the boards and shame those who were responsible, but it soon became an ironic character in its own right and began being used in practical jokes and other internet stunts.

However, many people have misunderstood what the bear represents and last September some police forces in America warned people to be on the look out for sex offenders dressed as the bear and the media went into overdrive after people in Pedobear costumes were seen at the Comic Con conference. 

Filed under: Apple, pedobear, pedobear app, iPhone, Cuddle Bear

 
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News & Comment: Technology