“A couple of days ago, I wrote about the difficulties Apple would face if it tried to censor the Confederate flag in its online stores,” Jim Lynch writes for CIO. “Unfortunately, the company – under Tim Cook’s leadership – wasted no time in engaging in reactionary censorship of the Confederate flag in its app store.”
“While I suspected something like this would happen, it still shocked me to find out that Apple would engage in this kind of overt censorship of history. The company appears to have made no distinction for apps that are educational in nature and that have proven to assist teachers in educating students about the Civil War,” Lynch writes. “I think this is a terrible mistake on Apple’s part. It demonstrates short-term, reactionary thinking and casts a deep chill of heavy-handed censorship over Apple’s app store. This is one of those situations where the solution ends up being far worse than the problem.”
“I think that Tim Cook has let his personal politics get the better of his judgement, and he has sent Apple spinning down into the abyss of intellectual censorship. Purging the app store of the Confederate flag may unfortunately be just the beginning of a dark period of political madness in Apple’s history,” Lynch writes. “It may fall to Apple’s board of directors to intervene and correct the company’s overzealous efforts to censor what its customers can see and buy.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s official statement: We have removed apps from the App Store that use the Confederate flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways, which is in violation of our guidelines. We are not removing apps that display the Confederate flag for educational or historical uses.
As long as Apple is not removing the Confederate flag for educational or historical uses, it is Apple’s prerogative to remove anything that clearly violates Apple Store guidelines. (Of course, this doesn’t explain why these apps were approved in the first place.)
Now Apple (and the developers) just have to figure out where the line between historical and policy violation lies. Unfortunately, that line is likely to be somewhat fuzzy.
Apple removes all American Civil War games from the App Store because of the Confederate flag? – June 25, 2015