When is burning books or censorship a good idea?
When the ideas being promoted contradict you you own.
Apple is under pressure to delist an an app that promises to cure homosexuality.
The free app is provided by Exodus International, a ministry group that “cites homosexual tendencies as one of many conditions that beset fallen humanity,” according to its website. The app includes updates from the group, as well as a schedule of upcoming events at which pastors, counselors and others can be trained. Exodus also includes stories from people who write that the service freed them “of the bondage of unwanted same-sex attraction.”
Gay rights groups such as Truth Wins Out have organized an online petition calling for Apple to remove the app from its store; as of Monday afternoon, the petition had more than 100,000 signatures. The petition says the app is “hateful and bigoted,” and the message that homosexuality is something to overcome could be particularly damaging to young people. “It creates, legitimizes, and fuels the ostracism of LGBT youth by their families,” Truth Wins Out says.
Apple has a policy that allow them discretion on ruling against offencive apps. By offirg to be a gate keeper of whats decent and proper they expose themselves to this type controversy. They become the censors.
The guidelines put Apple in the position of judging what is offensive — a precarious spot when sensitive issues like gay rights and religion are involved. In the past, Apple has removed other apps when many people complained about their content; the Guardian points out that an app called Manhattan Declaration that opposed gay rights and gay marriage was withdrawn from the store last year.
Facebook too has come under fire over content and offensiveness. But Facebook generally has come down on the side of promoting speech, and Exodus International maintains a page on the social-networking site, apparently without incident.
Apple likely wouldn’t face such questions about apps in its store if it took a stance similar to Google’s or Facebook’s, but that’s the price Apple pays for curating products for customers.
Apples position of deciding what content is best for us, whether their decision is based on business compatibility as in their boycott of Flash or intellectual. The decision is best left with the consumer. We don’t need Big brother or My 2 Mommies dictating what is proper.