updated 03:50 pm EST, Thu December 2, 2010
Message targeted CEO Steve Jobs
Online petition hosting site Change.org is crediting one of its campaigns for the removal of a potentially offensive app. The app promoted the Manhattan Declaration, a manifesto created and supported by conservative Christians such as Charles Colson and James Dobson. Signatories must oppose abortion and the right of gays to marry, and support civil disobedience where law conflicts with Christian dogma.
Over 7,700 people are recorded as having signed the petition, which directed a message at Apple CEO Steve Jobs. "Apple has always been among the most progressive companies and earned a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index," part of the letter reads, "and yet, the company has approved application that is offensive to Americans who support equality and free choice.
"The Manhattan Declaration application exists to collect signatures on a website which espouses hateful and divisive language, the very kind of language I hope the iTunes Store will not want to help disseminate," it goes on. "Despite the store rating the application 4+ ('no objectionable material'), I can assure you that the application does in fact contain lots of objectionable material."
The petition may simply have called attention to the official App Store guidelines. "We view Apps different than books or songs, which we do not curate," one section of Apple's document reads. "If you want to criticize a religion, write a book. If you want to describe sex, write a book or a song, or create a medical app. It can get complicated, but we have decided to not allow certain kinds of content in the App Store."
Apple has granted itself the power to reject apps "for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line," which it acknowledges is a subjective matter. The company generally opposes apps which exist to attack identifiable groups. It has been accused of being inconistent, however, such as in the cases of a political caricature app, and another title promoting a Republican Congressional candidate.