Apple left more than a few folks scratching their heads Monday evening. Pointed out by TUAW shortly after Apple's deletion frenzy, somebody in Cupertino - or at least some of Apple's most loyal moderators - were apparently displeased with the rampant thread posts on Apple's website. These threads, of course, served only to prolong the discussion of Consumer Reports' earlier withdrawal of its recommendation for the iPhone 4 due to lingering Death Grip issues.
Well, we can't have that now, can we? This, presumably, was the thinking of the mods who literally dumped all threads relating to the Consumer Reports PR debacle that began earlier in the day. Naturally, the omission of the threads on Apple's website will actually do little to mitigate the seriousness of the Consumer Reports fallout. After all, most of us became aware of the publication's iPhone 4 review in any one of a million different publications and websites before any word of it was uttered on Apple.com.
In case you haven't noticed before, Apple actually has a history of deleting threads that are deemed unfavorable to the company. TUAW author TJ Luoma put it this way:
Sadly, this isn't the first time we've heard about Apple deleting discussion board threads on topics which are unflattering to Apple's products. It's closer to the fiftieth time. In fact, we've heard so many reports about this happening that it seems safe to call this standard operating procedure for Apple's discussion boards. That's not to say that there are no negative threads on the discussion boards, but the ones that are there are the ones that Apple's moderators have decided to leave active.
It's almost inconceivable that the decision to yank the threads was made by an executive at Apple. If so, the suits in Cupertino may not be as bright as some would like to think. The fallout from the company's deletion of customer-driven threads - no matter how unflattering - will certainly be worse for the company's image than if it had simply left well enough alone. After all, many Apple fans wouldn't have even been aware of these disparaging threads if not for all the attention Apple is now receiving for having deleted them.