“It seemed like a simple enough idea for an iPhone app: Send users a pop-up notice whenever a flying robots kills someone in one of America’s many undeclared wars,” Christina Bonnington and Spencer Ackerman report for Wired. “But Apple keeps blocking the Drones+ program from its App Store — and therefore, from iPhones everywhere. The Cupertino company says the content is ‘objectionable and crude,’ according to Apple’s latest rejection letter.”
“It’s the third time in a month that Apple has turned Drones+ away, says Josh Begley, the program’s New York-based developer,” Bonnington and Ackerman report. “The company’s reasons for keeping the program out of the App Store keep shifting. First, Apple called the bare-bones application that aggregates news of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia “not useful.” Then there was an issue with hiding a corporate logo. And now, there’s this crude content problem.”
Bonnington and Ackerman report, “Begley is confused. Drones+ doesn’t present grisly images of corpses left in the aftermath of the strikes. It just tells users when a strike has occurred, going off a publicly available database of strikes compiled by the U.K.’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which compiles media accounts of the strike.”
“Of course, the App Store houses innumerable applications for news publications and aggregators that deliver much of the same content provided by Begley’s app,” Bonnington and Ackerman report. “‘I’m kind of back at the drawing board about what exactly I’m supposed to do,’ Begley said. The basic idea was to see if he could get App Store denizens a bit more interested in the U.S.’ secretive, robotic wars, with information on those wars popping up on their phones the same way an Instagram comment or retweet might. Instead, Begley’s thinking about whether he’d have a better shot making the same point in the Android Market.”
Read more in the full article here.
More also via The Bureau of Investigative Journalism here.
MacDailyNews Take: As if 547 fart apps aren’t “objectionable and crude.”
You know what’s really “objectionable and crude,” Apple? Trying to hide reality because it might “offend” someone.
Regardless of your position on U.S. drone strikes, censorship is not the appropriate answer; it rarely is.
[UPDATE: 9:00pm EDT: We removed the reference to Mr. Cook from our Take as, upon further reflection, we felt it was unfair as he may not even be aware of this particular App Store rejection. Yet. We hope that someone higher up on the food chain than the college interns Apple has randomly approving/rejecting apps will soon be taking a look at why this one was really rejected.]