Apple keeps a tight grip over its iPhone which one of America’s top-selling smart phones. It has proven itself more than willing to censor a broad range of content it finds morally questionable from violence to sexual themes. The latest example of Apple seeking to help guide its customers’ moral decisions came when the company rejected an application update from Trent Reznor, for an app for his band Nine Inch Nails.
Apple said the app was unacceptable because it came with profane music clips from NIN’s groundbreaking album The Downward Spiral. Some note the curiousness of Apple’s ruling, given that it happily sold the album on iTunes. Let down and hurt, an angry Trent Reznor blasted Apple in a blog post, making unfavorable comparisons of the company to Walmart, another company that has censored his art.
Now, at last, Apple has let its objections go away in the end. It has reversed its stance and said that Reznor can have it all, when it comes to his app update. Reznor happily Twittered the news to his fans.
While, it’s good to see Apple looking to reevaluate its rules surrounding how it polices its app store empire, it’s also somewhat troubling, according to some, that Apple is developing a habit of rejecting applications on questionable grounds and then approving them after criticism. It has also done the opposite, as with the recent “Baby Shaker” app — approval then rejection following criticism.
In all, many say that Apple’s selective and haphazard censorship demonstrates an inability to logically regulate its content, something which threatens the viability of the iPhone’s app platform. While iPhone devs are unlikely to abandon a user base numbering in the millions, these debacles do plant the seeds of doubt in some.
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