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Apple as the Morality Police

Posted by susabelle at 6:49 AM on May 11, 2009

Several recent articles circulating the blogsphere over the last few weeks show just how inconsistent Apple is in policing the applications being offered for the iPhone.  One recent app was rejected because it gave users access to “inappropriate” music from the band Nine Inch Nails, yet Apple sells the particular album and song in question through iTunes, with no restrictions.  Then comes word that a news aggregator app that also happens to allow access to the infamous “page three” of the UK tabloid Sun has been rejected.  Yet “page three” is something you can access using the Safari browser built in to the iPhone to begin with.

In the first place, I find it distasteful that Apple is attempting censsorship in the form of apps, applying some unspecified “moral code” to users of the iPhone.  But going further, why are they rejecting things that people already have access to in other ways, not blocking those other avenues in any way?

Either you’re going to let it all in, or you’re not.  You can’t pick and choose.  And as to censorship, haven’t we gone over this time and again in the United States, regarding rights of free speech?  And anyway, who elected Apple to the “morality police” position in the first place?

Maybe some of this backward thinking can explain why the Palm outsold the Apple iPhone in the first quarter of this year.  Maybe the shine is off the iPhone.