| Cult of Mac

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.