Apple permits iPhone app chronicling US drone strikes to return to App Store [u]

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2017
Apple on Tuesday once again approved Metadata -- an app drawing attention to U.S. drone strikes -- for download on the App Store, following a nearly two-year wait after its removal. [Updated with second removal]




The app's return was highlighted by its creator, Josh Begley from news site The Intercept. It's not clear why Apple decided to reverse course on earlier policy.

The app originated five years ago as "Drones+," but was rejected multiple times for "excessively objectionable or crude content," Begley noted. This is despite the fact that it doesn't include any graphic images, and simply logs attacks with a few short sentences, a pin on a map, and a push notification.

In occasionally trying to resubmit the app, Begley at one point switched the name from Drones+ to Metadata+. It was finally accepted in 2014, managing over 50,000 downloads before being pulled in Sept. 2015.

At the time Apple once again used the claim that the app contains "excessively objectionable or crude" content, that "many users would find objectionable."

In the past Apple has tried to deter developers from using apps as a means of political expression, for instance rejecting apps about sweatshops or the Syrian civil war. The company could conceivably be loosening its philosophy in this area, or simply in respect to Metadata, which is sometimes critical of drone strikes but typically doesn't express an overt point of view.

In its new incarnation the app requires an iPhone or iPod with iOS 10.2 or later.

Update: Within a matter of hours, Apple has already taken Metadata back offline.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,093member
    Or new administration? I'll believe it when I see South Park not being rejected.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,561member
    What's the south park story? Did they submit an iOS app?
  • Reply 3 of 13
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,113member
    In the past Apple has tried to deter developers from using apps as a means of political expression, for instance rejecting apps about sweatshops or the Syrian civil war. The company could conceivably be loosening its philosophy in this area, or simply in respect to Metadata, which is sometimes critical of drone strikes but typically doesn't express an overt point of view.
    Sometimes critical? Josh Begley is always critical of drone strikes. Using the word carnage to describe the killing of 30 terrorists does express an overt point of view. 
  • Reply 4 of 13
    Of course Apple would allow this.  It is a shame.  As long as they verify (which they won't) that the info portrayed in the app is true...even then it has no real place.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    Now an app outlining the waste in US government...now that would be a good app.
    jony0longpathcornchipviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13
    "At the time Apple once again used the claim that the app contains 'excessively objectionable or crude' content, that 'many users would find objectionable.'" Uh-huh. It's patently obvious what's going on here. Apple didn't want this app to make the previous administration look bad, so the company disallowed it. Now that there is an administration that technology companies generally hate, Apple has decided that this app might be okay after all. Look, I'm not a Trump supporter, but the fact that Apple wields this power to accept or reject apps based on purely political ideology is unsettling to me, and it should be unsettling to everyone who supports free speech.
    boltsfan17
  • Reply 7 of 13
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,113member
    sog35 said:
    how do we know these stories of drone strikes are true? How are these verified?

    Is this just another part of SISI propaganda?
    We don't. I looked at Josh Begley's website and he's just getting the information from published news stories. I doubt the news stories are accurate. How would a reporter know if it was an American drone or not. Reaper drones are flying 50,000 feet up in the sky. No way to know if it was an American drone, Russian drone, or even a drone for that matter. 
  • Reply 8 of 13
    joogabahjoogabah Posts: 115member
    In the past Apple has tried to deter developers from using apps as a means of political expression, for instance rejecting apps about sweatshops or the Syrian civil war. The company could conceivably be loosening its philosophy in this area, or simply in respect to Metadata, which is sometimes critical of drone strikes but typically doesn't express an overt point of view.
    Sometimes critical? Josh Begley is always critical of drone strikes. Using the word carnage to describe the killing of 30 terrorists does express an overt point of view. 
    They don't just kill "terrorists", which is apparently a word used to describe any sort of resistance to American imperialism.

    The only reason for not wanting to make this information readily available is fear of opposition if it is brought to the attention of the public repeatedly.

    To say the information is "objectionable" expresses a political viewpoint.  No one has contested the veracity of the reporting.
    longpathStrangeDaysviclauyyc
  • Reply 9 of 13
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,561member
    In the past Apple has tried to deter developers from using apps as a means of political expression, for instance rejecting apps about sweatshops or the Syrian civil war. The company could conceivably be loosening its philosophy in this area, or simply in respect to Metadata, which is sometimes critical of drone strikes but typically doesn't express an overt point of view.
    Sometimes critical? Josh Begley is always critical of drone strikes. Using the word carnage to describe the killing of 30 terrorists does express an overt point of view. 
    Nope. Use the Look Up feature in iOS to see the definition for carnage -- it doesn't mention whether the dead deserved it or not. You're projecting. 
    lolliver
  • Reply 10 of 13
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,005member
    What's the south park story? Did they submit an iOS app?
    IIRC Apple wouldn't allow it d/t profanity. Never mind all the R rated films on iTunes and frank pornograpy on YouTube
    cornchip
  • Reply 11 of 13
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 325member
    Facebook and google shows tons of biased news to their users. Why they are not banned in App Store?

    as an Apple fanboy, it looks really bad to me. I think it makes Apple looks bad as an American company, which hide the truth, arguable. 

    Apple has no knowledge about if the message in the app is true

    [Deleted User]
  • Reply 12 of 13
    sog35 said:
    pdbreske said:
    "At the time Apple once again used the claim that the app contains 'excessively objectionable or crude' content, that 'many users would find objectionable.'" Uh-huh. It's patently obvious what's going on here. Apple didn't want this app to make the previous administration look bad, so the company disallowed it. Now that there is an administration that technology companies generally hate, Apple has decided that this app might be okay after all. Look, I'm not a Trump supporter, but the fact that Apple wields this power to accept or reject apps based on purely political ideology is unsettling to me, and it should be unsettling to everyone who supports free speech.
    Nope.

    Apple has the right to reject or accept any App for business reasons.

    Apple has no obligation to accept any App.

    Which would be fine IF you could load an app from other sources.  You can't without a jailbreak, and it's really hard to jailbreak these days, so no, they really shouldn't have that as a right. 

    It's MY iPhone.  It's NOT Apple's iPhone.  As soon as they sell it to me, it's mine, not theirs.

    It's the single worst thing about having an iPhone.  In EVERY other aspect, Android phones suck beyond belief.  But Apple needs to fix this.
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