Should Apple be in the censorship business?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by atlanticza, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. atlanticza macrumors 6502a

    atlanticza

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    #1
    The recent furore of of its banning of Oscar Wilde’s "The Importance of Being Earnest" (graphic version app) suggests that it's not a good idea. (OK the ban was later reversed but Apple shouldn't get involved anyway. See article on TechCrunch here.)

    Apple is in the hardware and software business, that's it. It's illogical to censor content; after all Macs can access all the content you want so why restrict access on iPads or iPhones? If you're 18 or over, it should be your choice, your freedom of choice, not restricted by Apple's censors.

    And the argument that if an app such as "How to build a nuclear bomb" should be allowed in the Store, think about it - that information is freely available on the Internet anyway.

    Apple, it's a minefield and it's none of your business.
     
  2. macquariumguy macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Apple has a vested interest in making the App Store an attractive destination for their customers. While I might not agree with censoring Wilde (don't know the story behind that), there have been other times when I think they've done the right thing.

    Take all the jiggle slideshow apps that were showing up a while back. They made a mess of the App Store. I was less likely to go there because it was annoying to wade through dozens of almost identical crap apps. Apple got rid of them, and it was a good business decision.

    I'd say it is Apple's business.
     
  3. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #3
    Apple isn't in the "censorship" business, they're not a government.

    Apple, as a private business, can choose to sell or not sell whatever they damn well please. We, as consumers, can freely choose to do business with them or not based on our perception of the value in doing so.

    This is and has been a fundamental principle of a free marketplace, nothing's changed in the last few hundred years on that score.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    Yeah, their continued censoring certainly raises the hackles of many people, and to be honest rightfully so.

    With that said, this is their product and you play by their rules. As an iPhone owner you agree to live within the walled garden approach and accept their say on what you can and cannot see/use on the iPhone.

    Don't like it, move to another phone, I don't want to sound harsh but apple is setting the rules and developers/consumers have to play by them if they want to use the iPhone.
     
  5. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #5
    To customers and developers:

    If you don't like it, there's the door.

    That's all there is to it.

    What? You're not leaving? MORE developers are signing on every day? Apple is selling more of their iGear than ever? Customers can't get enough of it??

    Guess "censorship" isn't such an issue. :rolleyes:
     
  6. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #6
    Unless you've been under a rock for the past 6 years or so, Apple is into a lot more businesses than hardware and software. They are free to regulate what is sold in their stores. If you don't like it, you either deal with it (which I do) or go buy your toys from someone else.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    That is probably the saddest comment and a testament to what apple does and people's sheepish behavior.

    You're right, people are free to choose and many people are not, they're willing to live in a gilded cage, but a gilded cage is still a cage.

    People shouldn't be complaining over apple's antics as they have embraced the whole walled garden approach.

    As for me, as you can see by my avatar, I've chosen freedom/choice over apple's oversight. Am I in the minority, yes, but the platform is growing and the android platform suits my needs.
     
  8. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #8
    It is. Apple does it because their customers and developers let them. If people pushed back, Apple would have to change their ways, but they just take it and let Apple do what they want.
     
  9. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #9
    I think you're taking the cage/prison analogy a bit too far.

    And what about those willing to live with the crap churned out by Dell, Microsoft, and the other also-rans?

    There's a costs-vs-benefits side to everything. The consumer decides. Ask Apple customers about that "cage" and they won't know what the hell you're talking about.

    Keep the unrealistic and artificial moaning and groaning to yourself. If you want to paint monsters in the corner, by all means, do it. Just don't be surprised when people give you strange looks.


    Fixed.

    Imaginations seem to be running wild today.
     
  10. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #10
    It doesn't have a thing to do with Apple. But then I don't expect even basic understanding of market processes in here.

    If one has a philosophical disagreement with a company's policies, they're free to try to alter those policies or demonstrate their displeasure by taking their business elsewhere. This applies to Apple, Wal-Mart, 7-11, the Gap, Sears, Amazon, whomever. This is, and always has been the case.

    What's sad is that there are folks that seem to think that Apple must operate in some sort of magical place where different rules of the market apply.
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #11
    Compared to Apple, SJ probably thinks that big-chain, family-friendly bookshops stock a lot of dirty smut on their shelves. :p

    Damn those rebellious big-chain shops and their smut. *shakes fist*



    Personally, I think Apple should just sell content and let customers decide whether it's appropriate or not. Does it matter if children are allowed to access this content? They don't have a credit card to make the purchases, do they? Also, if they walked into a bookshop, they'd be able to buy Oscar Wilde, or any number of violent novels, or romance novels with sex scenes.


    And blah blah blah there's the door blah blah blah....... I've heard it before. It's true that Apple can sell whatever products they want, but if they're genuinely going to sell books, then they should sell books, even the books they're not fans of.

    I used to work in a large bookshop (Books Etc. in London), and most booksellers genuinely do like books, and read books. I expect a salesperson at a bookshop to want to sell me an interesting book that I'd enjoy, even if they would not. That's all.

    And you don't need to tell me to take my money elsewhere. Other than their laptops, I don't plan on buying anything else Apple.
     
  12. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #12
    It has changed. Companies related to the internet or airwaves can take on some of the responsibilities of companies related to public utilities.

    An internet provider cannot normally censor access to sites simply because they want to, nor charge extra for them.

    In addition, the FCC and Congress are hot on the concept of network neutrality, which includes the idea that applications cannot normally be banned.

    I think that eventually this freedom from company-based restrictions will filter down. If ATT cannot block apps, then should Apple as the sole app store controller be able to?

    If there were more than one App Store, then Apple could not be accused of censorship.
     
  13. macquariumguy macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I censor avatars.
     
  14. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #14
    Apple isn't a service provider, they're not even really a content provider, they're just a merchant. There's plenty of alternatives for all of their products, both in the physical and virtual realm.

    If Home Depot doesn't carry what I want—for whatever reason—I can just go to Lowe's. Sure, I don't get the bag with the orange logo on it, but it still does the job. Same with any retail operation today.

    Yes, Apple has a closed ecosystem, but then so does the Droid. If I want an Apple App Store app on it, I'm stuck, I have to go with the Droid version, assuming there is one. Or, say I like to read the funny pages, but I also prefer the Wall Street Journal. Should I (or any governmental body) be allowed to regulate and dictate that the WSJ start including a comics page? Market forces ultimately prevail.

    The entire iTunes Store is not an industry standard, it is a private merchant reselling the wares they choose to. I may be disappointed that they don't carry something I prefer, but it's my choice to do or not do business with them on that basis.

    I have my own company, and I provide certain services. Potential clients can either accept the scope and limitation of those services, or they are free to find another provider. Are you saying that I should provide things that I choose not to, simply because of some amorphous concept of "fairness"?

    So now would you have the government mandate how we all go about our lives and business? Because that's certainly the implication here.

    We're not talking about discrimination, as anyone can buy from them subject to statutory limitations. We're talking about the basic right to conduct one's affairs in a manner that allows them to act in a manner that they deem ethical and appropriate to their stated goals.

    This is like saying that I like Disney's production quality, but they don't produce any porn, so that's censorship. No, it's a choice by the merchant to sell—or not sell—products that are aligned with their overall values.

    The real issue here is that everyone—both pro & con—get emotional discussing Apple, when in fact they don't give the matter a second thought when it concerns any of a plethora of other companies or industries.

    Personally, I do not care one whit what Apple does or doesn't do. They provide what I want, I buy it. They don't, I won't, and I'll find it elsewhere. I honestly don't see the logic (or certainly any form of rational, mature thought) in the histrionics generally displayed, much less the fatally damaged perceptions and arguments proffered.
     
  15. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #15
    Well said, JNB.

    What kills me is people get up on their high horses about this yet still buy Apple products knowing these limitations.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    I think you're confusing the issue of open/closed ecosystem, at least in terms of how its been used recently.

    Apple is a closed ecosystem because they dictate what you must use to develop the app, who you can use for advertisers, and your application must be approved by them.

    Conversely the android platform is not closed, in so far as you're not limited by the developer's agreement on what sdk you can use, what advertising service you want to use, and there's no need to have the application blessed by google.

    The issue is my values and morals may not be inline with apple, and in a couple instances it wasn't. Apple not wanting to insult a religious group pulled an app (that was against muslims) Yet they kept the very similar Christian bashing one.

    That's the problem with censorship. They are dictating what is worthy to be passed on. While apple does not have a monopoly, and anyone can go to a competing phone, that argument misdirects the focus on that apple shouldn't have a say on content in the first place. Censorship is censorship. While market forces will dictate how this plays out. that still doesn't detract from wrong being wrong.
     
  17. macquariumguy macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    But why is it wrong? Apple isn't the government.
     
  18. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #18
    jailbreak your hardware if you want uncensored content.
     

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