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  • Apple Playing App Store Politics in Congressional Race?



    Apple has been accused of playing politics in a Southern California Congressional race. Others, of course, are saying that Apple is simply abiding by its own policies.

    Here's how it all started.

    A Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives (Ari David,) is laying into Apple for "unreasonably" rejecting an iPhone application that was created by his campaign to take a jab at the incumbent rival (Henry Waxman). The application served up a plethora of accusations, including claims that Waxman has an unfortunate history of voting to raise taxes and trying to bankrupt Medicare.

    Apple rejected the free app citing that it was "defamatory" and clearly in violation of the developer license agreement, which holds that applications cannot contain any "offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind." So regardless of whether or not the fact-checkers of the political world validate Ari David's accusation against Waxman, the application remains of a "derogatory" nature - at least according to Apple.

    Nonetheless, some are saying that Apple is "picking favorites." More than one Apple critic has even gone as far as to say that Steve Jobs must personally be opposed to Ari David's candidacy, although there isn't one shred of evidence to support such a wild claim. Those accusing Apple of playing politics, however, should recall that Cupertino is always quick to kick out any app that even remotely resembles content that could be offensive - for instance, last November's (initial) rejection of "Bobble Rep," an app that included caricatures of all 540 members of both houses of Congress. In the final analysis, Apple decided that the application "mocked" the elected leaders portrayed within.

    Strange but true, Apple has is now involved in a Congressional race that, more than likely, the company wanted nothing to do with in the first place. But despite the rejection, David is making a stink about the app probably as a way to stand out in the crowded field of five Republican primary candidates aiming to challenge Waxman in the 2010 general election.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Playing App Store Politics in Congressional Race? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 17 Comments
    1. acolite246's Avatar
      acolite246 -
      Actually, Apple ended up approving Bobble Rep.

      http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bobbl...337845582?mt=8
    1. George Lopez's Avatar
      George Lopez -
      Hmmm...bery interesante esta chingadera.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      So much for my BobbleRep reference lol
    1. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
      iLoveWindows&iPhone -
      Not suprised at all apple didn't approve this app. From the sound of it, it's just pure negative advertising. Even if the facts in it are true, apple isn't going to waste it's time to fact check a politicians background. And with politics, even the truth is misleading. If
      this politician made a app talking about his views and what he would do differently if elected office, im sure it would be approved. Wow, probably the first time I have EVER agreed with apple
      rejecting a app. I see enough negative political adds on TV! Don't need them in the AppStore as well!
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Well...you know how republicans are!
    1. inzandity's Avatar
      inzandity -
      Potentially cydia release? Haha
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      I'm fairly educated in politics, and I'm usually glued to current events, but I'm not sure how I feel about this. For one, whatever goes on politically, app-wise, in no way reflects upon Apple as a company. It only reflects the developers. So why not offer it and let the people decide.

      When you walk into a book store (let's say Borders) and you see a book that you don't agree with ideologically, do you blame Borders for that?

      I can understand perhaps banning sexually explicit apps (although i don't like it, I understand it). But when it comes to ideological differences, where's the harm? There are multiple ways to view reality, how can Apple be so egotistical as to tell us what or what not to think? I know "it's their device" and all, but I don't want to get into that mess.

      I hope Apple takes a LOT of heat for their rejection policies. Their inability to tell developers what they can and cannot put in their apps should blow up in their face and burn them good. When you start censoring apps based on fuzzy rules, there's plenty of room for people to accuse them of censorship, freedom of speech violations, and wrongful, inconsistent treatment between developers.

      I don't own an Android device, but I hope it trumps Apple in the long run. Then we can choose for ourselves what we want to run or buy for our, OUR devices.
    1. klouud's Avatar
      klouud -
      Apple is being consistent at least. I don't agree that the iPhone needs to be a platform for politicians to lie about each other.

      tim
    1. cpkirkley's Avatar
      cpkirkley -
      Apple? Playing politics? No Way.
    1. NessLookAlike's Avatar
      NessLookAlike -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jahooba View Post
      Blah Blah Blah

      I can understand perhaps banning sexually explicit apps (although i don't like it, I understand it). But when it comes to ideological differences, where's the harm? There are multiple ways to view reality, how can Apple be so egotistical as to tell us what or what not to think? I know "it's their device" and all, but I don't want to get into that mess.

      Blah Blah Blah
      Apple is not the only source of books, ideas, applications, devices, products, engineers, or any such thing. There are plenty of other people out there to tell us what to think and be egotistical about it, and most of them are accessible 24-hours/day on the television. Apple is not telling people what to think, take your concerns elsewhere. Shoo.
    1. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
      iLoveWindows&iPhone -
      If apple isn't going to allow smut... Why would they allow political smut??? Political smut is just gross!!! As for porn smut....at least it has it's uses!!
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      Apple and its Appstore policy
    1. riku98523's Avatar
      riku98523 -
      I agree with Apples decision to not allow this app in fact I think they should just ban all political apps because it just causes problems and really doesn't help their cause. Majority of votes are uneducated people vote how they were raised even if they think they know the issue they are voting on they usually don't know it from both sides (there are two sides of every coin and looking at side A while reading side A "facts" means you fall short of learning the truth of either side)

      So Apple I have to agree with you this time around (even though I have a feeling that Apple would be more accepting of a democrat app that slanders republicans.)
    1. klouud's Avatar
      klouud -
      Quote Originally Posted by riku98523 View Post
      I agree with Apples decision to not allow this app in fact I think they should just ban all political apps because it just causes problems and really doesn't help their cause. Majority of votes are uneducated people vote how they were raised even if they think they know the issue they are voting on they usually don't know it from both sides (there are two sides of every coin and looking at side A while reading side A "facts" means you fall short of learning the truth of either side)

      So Apple I have to agree with you this time around (even though I have a feeling that Apple would be more accepting of a democrat app that slanders republicans.)
      +1 - Government is almost completely an illusion... at least the way we were taught to think about government is an illusion. The older I get the more I wake up to all of the junk that goes on in in State and National government - its ridiculous.

      Republicans call Democrats liars while Democrats call Republicans liars (applies to all political parties) but the reality is that pretty much all of them are liars that do illegal stuff behind closed doors. Its practically impossible to know who is lying and who is telling the truth! All we can do is educate ourselves the best we can, close our eyes, and pick a candidate.

      Because lets be honest, it almost does not matter who is in office or who controls what branch... the same stuff is going to happen pretty much any way you toss the dice.

      I actually applaud Apple for refusing to (indirectly) get involved in the political arena
    1. cpkirkley's Avatar
      cpkirkley -
      Quote Originally Posted by klouud View Post
      +1 - Government is almost completely an illusion... at least the way we were taught to think about government is an illusion. The older I get the more I wake up to all of the junk that goes on in in State and National government - its ridiculous.

      Republicans call Democrats liars while Democrats call Republicans liars (applies to all political parties) but the reality is that pretty much all of them are liars that do illegal stuff behind closed doors. Its practically impossible to know who is lying and who is telling the truth! All we can do is educate ourselves the best we can, close our eyes, and pick a candidate.

      Because lets be honest, it almost does not matter who is in office or who controls what branch... the same stuff is going to happen pretty much any way you toss the dice.

      I actually applaud Apple for refusing to (indirectly) get involved in the political arena
      I agree wholeheartedly with your stance on the governmental issues going on here, but I don't think Apple should be recieving any applause at all. If anything, if they don't approve, they should actually speak out against it. Which they have done liberally about any number of things recently.

      Why remain silent on this one? All this shows me is that as long as their bottom line stays black, they are unconcerned (at best, predatory at worst) with regards to the shape of the economy/political landscape around them. While its a good business model from a units sold point of view, it is hardly deserving of our applause.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      apple was right in this issue
    1. Evilsaint's Avatar
      Evilsaint -
      The first rejection I tend to agree with.