Apple Violating Freedom of Speech, or ‘Protecting Us?’

Mark Fiore just won a Pulitzer editorial cartooning prize for animations he created for SFGate, San Francisco Chronicle’s website. Apple rejected his iPhone app, NewsToons, because, according to Apple, his satire “ridicules public figures,” a violation of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, which bars any apps whose content may be found objectionable.

A few of the images that Apple referenced when denying Fiore’s app are image depicting the White House gate crashers interrupting an Obama speech. Two other image references included images referencing torture, Balloon Boy, and various political issues.

Apple is just asking for a law suit for freedom of speech. While Apples iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad looks sharp and runs good (most of the time), this is one reason Apple catches negative press over these products; users are restricted to only use the apps Apple approve. This reason right here is why a lot of consumers have turned to Android-based devices. Android, the Google based operating system does not have an approval process like Apple.

No free speech.
No free speech.

I am honestly surprised that Apple (through AT&T) has not blocked certain content from Youtube, certain search results, or certain websites from the iPhone when accessing data via 3G. As much as they want to control what people can and cannot do, what people can and cannot see, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple does something like this someday.

Apple almost reminds me of the Chinese government; they block content from their citizens they do not want them viewing. This includes certain news stories, websites, and television shows. Even though people that agree with my views here, they still buy Apple products.

I am one of those people as well. I have bought 2 iPhones and an iPod Touch in the last year (for me and my family). Apple does offer great products, but I just wish they were not so controlling over content. In a few years once my contracts are up, I may consider an Android based phone. But no one really knows where technology will be in 2 years.