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Censorship Iphone The Media Apple Politics

Apple Blocks Cartoonist From App Store 664

ink writes "Here is another troubling anecdote on the iWeb front: 'This week cartoonist Mark Fiore made Internet and journalism history as the first online-only journalist to win a Pulitzer Prize. Fiore took home the editorial cartooning prize for animations he created for SFGate, the website for the San Francisco Chronicle... But there's just one problem. In December, Apple rejected his iPhone app, NewsToons, because, as Apple put it, his satire "ridicules public figures," a violation of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, which bars any apps whose content in "Apple's reasonable judgement may be found objectionable, for example, materials that may be considered obscene, pornographic, or defamatory."' Whether or not you agree with Fiore's political sentiments, I believe we can all agree that the censorship of his work should be denigrated."
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Apple Blocks Cartoonist From App Store

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  • by Pinhedd ( 1661735 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @05:09PM (#31863670)
    I honestly cannot understand how apple's monopolistic behavior hasn't attracted the same attention that Microsoft's did
  • Solution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spleen_blender ( 949762 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @05:10PM (#31863678)
    Make an android app instead.
  • by Stele ( 9443 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @05:11PM (#31863702) Homepage

    I wrote an app called Sort [apple.com], which is a simple sorting "game" with various topics (sort the letters of various alphabets, sort states alphabetically, sort President years, etc).

    We had one topic called "Madoff Victims" where you were to sort the 10 highest losers of money due to Bernie Madoff's schemes, in order of loss.

    I don't remember the exact wording, but Apple rejected our app because they didn't like us implying bad things about him, even though exploits are well known. We removed that topic and the app was accepted.

  • Reason #238... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Itninja ( 937614 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @05:11PM (#31863708) Homepage
    ...not to get an iPhone.
  • Is there... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Gaian-Orlanthii ( 1032980 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @05:12PM (#31863728)
    ...some kind of tipping point for corporate bullshit? A point when the most zealous of fanboys (or fangirls) realises that their beloved corporate overlords are just too evil, stupid or evil and stupid to be allowed anyone's money anymore? I live in hope.
  • Inconsistent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ThatsNotFunny ( 775189 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @05:23PM (#31863906)
    The App store has a MSNBC app for political cartoons. How is that any different?
  • by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <{atd7} {at} {cornell.edu}> on Thursday April 15, 2010 @05:34PM (#31864048) Homepage

    ... from their "1984 ad" that announced the Macintosh.

    They've gone from releasing the system advertised as "challenging Big Brother" to becoming very much like Big Brother's Thought Police...

  • by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Thursday April 15, 2010 @05:36PM (#31864078) Journal

    That does not address the argument that was presented to you: if this is a case of censorship, then every single case where someone refuses to publish someone else's work is also censorship.

    Answer the question: is it censorship whenever someone refuses to publish someone else's work? Give a yes or no answer, please, don't hem and haw, just address the argument that was presented to you.

  • by wsanders ( 114993 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @05:38PM (#31864114) Homepage

    And I can still load iPhone apps that consist of nothing more than audio clips of farts.

    Go figure.

  • Re:Not unusual (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 15, 2010 @05:41PM (#31864166)

    Legally? You're probably right. However, consider this allegedly "free market" we have now in the US, which is actually a paradise for corporations and a disaster for normal humans. While you're considering it, go look up the principles of such a market. One of them is that all participants have equal access to information. One of the primary functions of a corporation is to try to mess with that principle to promote their agenda or their products. So, I may choose to buy or (in my case) not to buy an iPhone based on what I think of Apple's policies. Those policies are discussed at some length in forums like this, read by people who actually think about such things. However, your average consumer does not know what those policies are because the general media that such people read does not report on them. If you walked up to an average person and tried to explain this, he or she would never have heard of it, and probably doesn't even know that apps in Apple's store are individually reviewed for more than just the presence of malware. You end up with a situation where a corporation's policies should be subject to scrutiny but since our news organizations are now owned and run by entertainment people beholden to advertisers, you won't actually get a situation where they are judged on their actions in a free and fair market. So in that regard, yes, somebody's freedom of speech IS being infringed here--just not by the government and not terribly publicly either.

    In answer to what I'm sure will be the next post, no, it is not the government's job to tell Apple what apps they should put in their store. However, it IS the government's job to set up a situation where a marketplace works as intended. The US government used to do this by requiring people who broadcast to operate in the public interest--in most cases this was done by having news divisions which were totally separate from entertainment, and which were not profit-driven. This was the price of gaining access to OUR airwaves. Now we don't have that, and we have a less educated society than ever before to show for it.

  • by MagikSlinger ( 259969 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @05:52PM (#31864306) Homepage Journal
    For those Apple fans out there who wonder why we hate the idea of Apple becoming the de facto standard for portable computing, this is why. Apple can do what they want with their store (for example, if I owned an app store, I'd like to refuse to sell content I object to), but I would like the freedom to buy an app from someone else.
  • by bmk67 ( 971394 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @06:13PM (#31864616)

    I think you're wrong.

    If Walmart declines to stock music for whatever reason, it does not prevent another retailer from carrying it.

    In much the same way, one publisher declining to publish a particular work (for any reason), does not prevent the author from seeking other publishers, or from self-publishing.

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @06:17PM (#31864682)

    I don't think it matters to 99.999% of people

    Here's why:

    They buy an iPhone or an iPod Touch or an iPad for what they can see it can do.

    The do NOT buy it for what they can see it *might* be able to do.

    Only engineers and visionaries will buy something for the second reason. Consider that most cars which run on hydrogen are conversions of ordinary petroleum vehicles which were bought specifically to make them do something that they ordinarily would not have been able to do. Someone converting a Ford Escort to run on Hydrogen, though, is highly unlikely to encourage someone to buy a Ford Escort in the hope that conversion kits will be available "at some point in the future". It's even more likely that someone bought a Ford Escort 4 years before the first person converting it to run on Hydrogen in order to have one on hand when conversions kits became available on the off chance that someone would think of converting one to do that four years in the future.

    Likewise, the person buying the iPad is not going to do so on the basis of anticipating some killer app that hasn't been thought of by the person who will eventually implement it only have their idea rejected by the app store. We're never going to see a lot of people who fall into the category of: "Oh crap! I bought this thing 4 years ago because I knew someday someone would write this program, and now they have, but I have no way to buy it!".

    Yeah, it may piss you off on general principles, but all you're ding is trying to get everyone else to adopt your general principles by compplaining, you're not the white knight errant saving the world from censorship, so get over it.

    -- Terry

  • Ipad newspapers? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by drolli ( 522659 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @07:23PM (#31865484) Journal

    how does this work if a newspaper has an app for the ipad? Do they have to censor the politcal cartoons?

  • by bane2571 ( 1024309 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @07:50PM (#31865784)
    Let's say you run a bookshop that only sells children's books - Is it censorship to say no when playboy asks you to stock their books?
    How about a DVD shop that does not feel the need for a live concerts section, are they censoring out all the music artists of the world?
    If Apple has a policy of items they will not accept, that is their choice. Since the items are not actually censored in your country, perhaps you hsould try a different vendor?
  • by Fantastic Lad ( 198284 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @09:05PM (#31866472)

    Your points are all very valid. People must be allowed to choose to be retarded if they wish it.

    But it's still retarded, and worth making noise about. That's how the opposite choice is made clear. We're just coloring the two jars you can throw your chit into.

    -Because, with the amount of media support Job's is getting, (essentially billions in free advertising), complaining and guffawing now is probably what will make the difference between a world where Apple exercises far too much power over the internet and one where Apple remains just a big patch of retarded I can still circumvent with a minimum fuss.

    Apple is the new AOL.


  • by bhagwad ( 1426855 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @11:55PM (#31867750) Homepage
    And here's the whole point!

    If apple decides not to publish my content I don't have anywhere else to go. They've made damn sure they're the only source of iphone apps.

    That's why it's censorship
  • Re:Why an app? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StripedCow ( 776465 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:01AM (#31870024)

    Someone needs to come up with a good micro-payment scheme for websites. Somewhat like the way the app-store and i-tunes work. *Then* people will stop making apps, and develop web pages instead.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor