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 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 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.”
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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 has pulled the apps of popular photo-sharing site 500px over concerns that it is too easy to search for nude photographs within the app. This, despite the fact that 500px’s method of dealing with searches for nude images is even more prohibitive than that of the official Flickr iPhone app. Could Flickr be next?
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.
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.
Yesterday we brought you a story all about how Apple is inadvertenly censoring rappers and their profane lyrics, but it looks like Cupertino isn’t happy with just ruining rap music… they also want to make sure your Newsstand magazines don’t talk about penises, even in a clinical, scientific sense.
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.
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.