Apple Inc.
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Apple removes another app

Apple has pulled a controversial anti-gay marriage app from its iTunes Apple store after the company was the target of an online campaign condemning the app as “anti-gay."

Called The Manhattan Declaration, the app asked users to vote in a Christian survey and add their names to a 5,000-word declaration penned by Christian clergy.

Given Apple’s history of censorship, pressuring the company to surrender to its own oft-exercised bowdlerizing nature isn’t a particularly noteworthy achievement. And while it may be a victory for some, for mobile users who feel they’re adult enough to manage the appropriateness of their own adult content it’s another step back.

Earlier this year Apple rejected the Gay New York: 101 Can’t Miss Places because of a snapshot of a naked sculpture, and just this month the company behind Jack’d, a gay networking app, was shocked to discover its app had been removed from the Itunes store by Apple for using the word “gay":

With the introduction of its new iPad, it seems Apple’s “moral responsibility” now extends beyond iPhone apps into iPad editorial content. Just a few weeks ago the iPad edition of the November issue of Esquire was deemed too risqué and was delayed by Apple for four weeks.  

In a recent column on the issue of Esquire’s delay, and its implications for the future of the free press, The Globe and Mail’s Ivor Thorsell concluded:

Neither the iTunes model nor Apple’s culture meshes with the needs of a free press. And if Apple-compliance starts to become an editorial objective, the sudden toning-down of half-naked-lady pictures will be the least of our concerns.

Rumour has it the new iPads will come with 7” and 11” screen options, but no word yet if they’ll be releasing a model for adults.

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