Apple v. Drones+

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on September 2, 2012

As this post discusses, there is an app for the iPhone called Drones+ which informs you via pop-up whenever a drone strike occurs that kills someone in some part of the world. Apple keeps blocking the app, and its reasons for blocking the app keep changing. Drones+ may not be my cup of tea, but it may be someone’s and Apple’s reasons for blocking it seem to be tendentious at best. There is no contention whatsoever that the app is harmful in any way, that it might introduce a virus into iPhones or that its content is offensive. Apple claims that the app is “crude” but offers no evidence for the claim and crudeness, of course, is oftentimes in the eye of the beholder.

It puzzles me why Apple seems resolved to give itself a public relations black eye. It also puzzles me why the company feels it has to keep such a tight leash on its apps market. I can understand not wanting to allow apps that might spread viruses in Apple products but I can’t understand why and how Apple can take it upon itself to render judgments regarding what their customers’ tastes in apps ought to be–especially when an app in question has no offensive content whatsoever, and may only push the boundaries by causing people to consider the issues raised by what might be uncomfortable and controversial political questions.

I’ll note for the record that I am in favor of using drones to attack terrorist camps, so my objection to Apple’s conduct is not driven by any objections against the drones program.

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