Apple Rejects Drone+ Citing Objectionable Content

August 31, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Apple stands tall against US Drones. Not in the true sense, but in the app sense.

Apple has said no to an iPhone app, which is designed to keep track of fatalities caused by US drone strikes. Evidently, the company felt the content to be “objectionable” and withheld the App Store approval for Drones+.

What Drone+ does is send a text message to iPhones whenever there are casualties reported due to drone strikes. The app shows users the locations of drone strikes on a Google map.

This is the third time Apple has struck down the app this summer citing the App Store guidelines that prohibit “objectionable” content. “We found that your app contains content that many audiences would find objectionable, which is not in compliance with the App Store guidelines,” wrote Apple in an email to Josh Begley, the app’s creator.

Begley says he realizes the position Apple is in and that he understands the company’s reluctance to any controversial content. But there’s a case being cited in contrary to Apple’s current decision.

The New York Times says that an app from The Guardian, which has Apple’s approval, has content that is similar to Begley’s app, including an interactive map of drone strikes. Apple has been blamed before for being biased on application of its App Store guidelines.

In 2009, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist, Mark Fiore, had submitted an app featuring a collection of his cartoons, which was rejected by the company on the grounds that it “ridiculed public figures”.

Later in 2010, after a public outcry, the late Apple CEO, Steve Jobs said the rejection was a mistake and made the app available for purchase in the App Store.

Another incident in 2009 saw the company rejecting an e-book reader app Eucalyptus because of the access it provided to the Kama Sutra.

Apple deemed the content objectionable as per the Store’s guidelines, even though the book was available at other App Store e-readers.

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