China state media slams Apple for app used by Hong Kong protesters


China state media slams Apple for app used by Hong Kong protestors
App helps protesters track police presence in Hong Kong.
Photo: HKMap Live

China’s state media took a swipe at Apple for allowing an app that let Hong Kong protesters track the location of police back into the App Store. The app, called Hkmap Live, uses reports from a Telegram group to share information about things like arrests and the use of weapons such as tear gas.

Apple originally booted the app from the App Store, but apparently reversed its decision.

Republican lawmakers flame Apple for censorship in China


China’s population of 1.4 billion makes it a huge potential market for Apple.
China’s population of 1.4 billion makes it a huge potential market for Apple.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A pair of GOP congresspeople have strongly criticized the decision to remove songs from artists critical of the Chinese Communist Party from Apple’s streaming music service in that country.

The move highlights the compromises the iPhone maker has to make in order to offer its products in a very lucrative market.

Proposed U.K. laws could crack down on ‘harmful’ apps


Apple removes 17 malware apps which secretly clicked on ads
Censorship or common sense? Expect to see this issue heavily debated.
Photo: Apple

Apple could be among the companies having to censor certain apps and websites as a result of new proposed U.K. laws. Designed to combat “harmful” content online, the new laws would give censorship power to independent regulators tasked with overseeing apps and websites.

The view of “harmful” content is a broad one, including terrorism, self-harm, hate speech, child abuse, and more. It would mean that the U.K. government could have a say on the content that Apple sells or offers to customers in the United Kingdom.

Apple comes under fire for banning anti-abortion app


The "banned" app lets you pray in real-time.
Photo: Human Coalition

Apple has reportedly banned an anti-abortion app from the App Store after complaints were made about it from “left-wing bloggers.”

Among the features of the Human Coalition app is a “Prayer Feed,” where users can access a real-time map of the United States, allowing them to join in with the prayers of other users on behalf of “abortion-determined families.”

Electronic Frontier Foundation slams tech companies for banning neo-Nazis


EFF logo
The EFF are big proponents of online free speech.
Photo: EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation criticized tech companies that took action against white supremacist groups in the wake of deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Quick to take a stand against hate groups, tech companies removed some neo-Nazi groups’ access to web servers and online services. But the EFF issued a statement reminding them of the slippery slope of censorship.

Mark Cuban wants Apple to boot Twitter out of the App Store


Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

When there are complaints about censorship in the App Store, it’s usually developers arguing that Apple shouldn’t have removed a particular app for infringing on its often-vague user guidelines.

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban had something else in mind, however, when he sent a series of tweets claiming that Apple should boot Twitter off the App Store — until the social networking company finds a way of better removing “objectionable” material from its service.

Apple rejects controversial Ferguson Firsthand app


Ferguson Firsthand was intended as an
Ferguson Firsthand was intended as an "educational app."
Photo: Dan Archer

In the latest controversy over Apple’s stringent App Store guidelines, the company has rejected an “educational app” about the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The reason? Apple objects to “the subject matter” of the game, which deals with the impact of the real-life shooting that sparked rioting and a continuing conversation about race and police brutality.

Apple finally enforces ‘no guns in App Store’ rule


Developers are having to blur guns from App Store screenshots. Photo: Touch Arcade
Developers now blur guns in App Store screenshots. Photo: App Store

Apple is turning away developers who try to submit apps with guns in their screenshots or icons. But this isn’t a case of Apple introducing new rules to the App Store, so much as it is one of the company finally enforcing rules that have been there all along.

Controversial weed-growing iOS game pulled from App Store after hitting No. 1 spot



Controversial cannabis-growing game Weed Firm has been booted out of the App Store.

Essentially Farmville for stoners, the app put you in the role of a marijuana dealer, as you try to grow your business (literally)  and stay one step ahead of “thugs and cops.” Somehow making it past Apple’s usually stringent guidelines for adult content, the app had made it to the top of the App Store’s Top Free iPhone games prior to its expulsion.

Apple Bars Sexy Comic From Appearing In App Store. Or Does It?



Apple has clashed with comic creators over its decision to ban Matt Fraction and artist Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals from selling on the iOS version of Comixology. The title, published by Image Comics, tells the story of two people whose orgasms give them the power to stop time (!).

Somewhat confusingly, at time of writing Apple was still selling the comic via its iBooks storefront.

Vine Is Now Rated 17+ To Save You From The #Porn Tag


Top free app in the US is nothing to sneeze at.
A bottle of lubricant filed in Vine. Just one of the many sexually charged videos you can see in this 17+ rated app!

Remember all the stupidity about 500px getting pulled from the iOS App Store because it was possible to see artful photographs of professional models exposing body parts that literally every person on the Earth has underneath their clothes? Which was all the more hysterical because Apple’s “Editor’s Choice” at the time was Vine, an app in which you are just a click of the #porn tag away from seeing an endless stream of anonymous masturbators wave their foreskins at you?

Well, 500px solved its problem with Apple by adopting a 17+ iTunes rating, and now Vine is doing the same.

500px Returns To The App Store, Now Rated 17+


The national porn nightmare is over, apparently.

It’s back! 500px — the photo sharing app that was yanked from the App Store last week for letting users check out artful, non-pornographic nudes — has returned to the App Store, with some changes to keep genitalia and nipples away from impressionable eyes.

Apple Kicks Book About Hippies Off The Danish iBookstore For Using Apples To Censor Genitals


Screen Shot 2012-11-06 at 7.58.42 AM

It’s no secret that Apple often takes a puritanical view of art featuring human anatomy — the flapping genitalia, dewy folds and turgid protuberances that some of us find so arousing and others find a moral failing — at least when it comes to being submitted to the App Store or iBookstore.

So it’s no surprise that when Danish author Peter Øvig Knudsen submitted his latest work of non-fiction, Hippie 2, to the iBookstore, the e-book was rejected based upon the fact that it contained forty-seven photographs of hairy frolicking hippies with exposed breasts, buttocks and genitals.

What is more surprising is that they also rejected Knudsen’s resubmitted version of the text, which featured all of the photos censored with giant red apples.

Apple Backtracks And Starts Uncensoring The Word “Jailbreak” In iTunes


The dreaded
The dreaded "j" word...

We picked up a story this morning saying that Apple was censoring the word “jailbreak” in the iTunes Store. While the news just started making the rounds this morning, Apple has actually been censoring “jailbreak” with asterisks for many months. We noticed the activity first when a recent episode of the CultCast called “The Jailbreak Breakdown” showed up as “The J*******k  Breakdown.”

It looks like Apple pays attention to the blogosphere, because the word “jailbreak” is already starting to be uncensored in the iTunes Store.

Apple Starts Censoring The Word Jailbreak In iTunes (Even In Songs!)


Is Apple taking its battle against jailbreaking a little too far?

I can imagine that the reaction you get from mentioning the word “jailbreak” within the Apple camp in Cupertino is almost identical to that you get when mentioning the word “bomb” on an airplane. In fact, Apple hates the word so much that it considers it an expletive, and it’s now filtering it from the iTunes Store.

Steve Jobs Kicks WikiLeaks Out of App Store [Animated News]



Earlier this week, Apple removed a WikiLeaks app from the App Store and joined the shameful ranks of U.S. companies that oppose press freedom.

Here’s the disgraceful episode as seen through the eyes of Next Media Animation, a Taiwanese tabloid that animates the news.

Jobs kicks WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange out of the App Store. He returns to hug other companies that have tried to privately censor WikiLeaks (Amazon, PayPal, Visa and Bank of America etc.). Outside, Assange pulls out an Android phone and fires up the banned WikiLeaks App.

As Next Media shows, you can’t suppress the truth. My Christmas wish is that Steve Jobs would get on the right side of this immensely important story. Unfortunately, he’s not.


Via MICGadget. Thanks Chris.

Apple Pulled WikiLeaks App Because It “Violated Dev Guidelines”



Apple has joined the shameful list of companies that have denied support for WikiLeaks.

Apple confirmed that it removed a WikiLeaks App from the online App Store, as reported earlier, and did so because it “violated our developer guidelines.”

“Apps must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or group in harm’s way,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told the New York Times.

However, exactly how or why the app doesn’t comply with the law, or puts people in harm’s way, Muller didn’t explain. She also didn’t discuss the First Amendment or the freedom of the press.

The $1.99 WikiLeaks App let users view the WikiLeaks site and its Twitter account.

The app was taken down on Monday after being available for only three days. Apple joins Amazon, PayPal, Visa and MasterCard, Bank of America and others in denying services or support for the WikiLeaks organization.

I for one am pissed. I support WikiLeaks and believe strongly that it is conducting the most important journalism of the last several years, and in a stunning, ballsy fashion. I’d love to see Steve Jobs, who has nurtured an image of a revolutionary, speak up in support. Little chance of that though.