Apple iPhone Censorship

Wow, Apple has thin skin:

Apple Imposes NDA For App Store Rejections

If you're a developer and Apple rejects your iPhone application from its App Store, the company wants you to shut up and get over it.

Apple's serious about it: The company has extended the iPhone non-disclosure agreement, which prohibits application developers from discussing programming tips, to include rejection letters as well. Some developers in the past have shared their rejection letters on the web, but now, according to MacRumors, rejection letters include a clause that reads, "THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MESSAGE IS UNDER NON-DISCLOSURE."

I just went through about as terrible a process as you I could have imagined with the Apple iphone app store. It sucked, with their non-co-opoeration, multi-month delays, and inability to even update the situation for weeks at a time. So sue me.

WSG worked with Chelsea Green through a developer to bring Howard Dean's book on healthcare reform to the iPhone app store. The app is not just a book, but also an action kit-- the sort of ground-breaking thing that Howard Dean is so well known for letting his internet team run with innovating.

Unfortunately, Apple just squashed our roll-out plans. I have thought it was just plain incompetence of Apple that Howard Dean's iphone app (the book and Action kit) was being delayed for more than two months (with no reason why given). I resisted the thought that it was some sort of political delay by Apple. Well, now I have to wonder, check this out:

Apple Denied Health Care App for Political Reasons

Apple rejected a free iPhone application that advocated a single-payer health system, calling the application "politically charged," according to the app's developer.

Red Daly, a 22 year-old computer science grad student at Stanford, submitted his iSinglePayer iPhone app for Apple's approval on Aug. 21. A little more than a month later Apple rejected it on the grounds of its content, Daly told

This really makes me wonder what is going on with Apple and this sort of censorship. Here's more:
Daly said he anticipated the rejection after Apple called a few weeks ago to ask if he was working on his own, or on behalf of a group or politician. He said he was just working as his own small company, which he suspects led to his rejection.

Apple's preference for the establishment annoys Daly.

"I feel like politicians already have a megaphone and Apple is making it worse instead of making it easier for a regular guy to get an application into the store," Daly said.

Apple did not reply to a request for comment.

Daly, who has successfully submitted other apps such as Quiz Tunes, suspected something was off when he did not get an answer from Apple quickly.

Then on Saturday morning, Daly got a call from an Apple employee who identified himself as Richard, who told him verbally that his app had been rejected. When Daly asked if there was anything he could do to make it less politically charged, Richard replied that the problem was the app was politically charged.

So what it seems like Apple wound up doing, was creating a policy that allowed people like Dean (a politician) to use their app store for political action apps, but not individuals working on their own.

Now, as I mentioned above, Apple gave us no reason for the multi-month delay of the launch, so the above is speculation of what's happening with their policy of political censorship through the app store.

But of course, who knows, because:

Apple did not reply to a request for comment.

Tags: Apple (all tags)



Re: Apple iPhone Censorship

If you don't have a contract then you're not bound by anything.  I really think a court would be hard pressed to justify a ruling that merely accepting an application is due consideration for enforcement of a gag provision.  I hope someone challenges that.

by Drummond 2009-09-29 09:28AM | 0 recs
Remember when Bill Gates was Evil and Apple was...

Remember when Bill Gates was Evil and all those Mac lovers would wax poetic on how cool and with it and progressive Apple is / was.  

Apple has always been about total control of their software, and their products. Ironic, given their famous Big Brother ad from 1984 Olympics.

iFuck Apple.

by Swan 2009-09-29 09:35AM | 0 recs
I hate apple

Please dont take my iPhone away!

by Ravi Verma 2009-09-29 11:08AM | 0 recs


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