updated 10:45 am EDT, Thu May 27, 2010
Company takes flak for policy against ridicule
Apple has flipped its stance and decided to approve an iPhone app for a Republican Congressional candidate, says the New York Times. The app, created for Ari David, was initially rejected for being defamatory of the incumbent, Democrat Henry Waxman. The app makes many attacks against Waxman, for instance suggesting that he "tried to strangle family farms with insane Soviet-style regulation."
Following the app's rejection, David accused Apple of a liberal bias, citing the rejection of an app attacking the Qur'an, and the approval of apps attacking the Bible and supporting communist revolutionary Che Guevara. Apple initially reiterated its opposition to the app in talking to reporters, but the policy is said to have been reversed within a matter of hours. "When this issue was brought to our attention, we reviewed it further and realized we made a mistake," claims Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller. "While we don’t approve apps that attack individuals, that is not what this app is primarily about."
David says he is happy with the decision. "They clearly did the right the thing and I'm looking forward to a free exchange of social ideas in Apple’s content offerings," he comments.
Apple has occasionally come under fire for an App Store rule banning titles that ridicule public figures. While nominally keeping the store free of apps that exist solely for slander, the rule has also been criticized for preventing legitimate political expression.