Apple is showing anti-choice tendencies in app store

Sep 24th 2015 2:03am

Apple is showing anti-choice tendencies in app store

Lady Parts Justice, a self-described “cabal” of pro-choice comedians, released a satirical app called “Hinder” that lets you left-swipe through a whole three-ring circus of conservative politicians bent on curtailing reproductive freedom. Each pol’s profile has more information on his (or her, but probably his) bad opinions on abortion, sex education and women in general. You can play with it on the Lady Parts Justice site, if you want to (or not! They support your choice). But you can’t find it on Apple’s App Store. Apple rejected Hinder this month, even though its guidelines explicitly allow political satire.

Hinder is an all right app. It has some things going for it – I’ve always maintained that the best part of Tinder is the ability to throw crappy people away, and that’s a major part of the appeal here. Oh look, it’s Donald Trump – SWIPE LEFT. There are also parts that could use a little work; for instance, the taglines that appear on each profile aren’t always about reproductive rights (George Pataki’s is about Isis), which dilutes the point. Also, every single time you swipe left, a box pops up to nag you to share on social.

But being merely an all right app is not what kept Hinder out of the App Store. (If that were the standard of inclusion, there would be way fewer apps overall.) Rather, it’s been barred under Apple’s rule against anything “defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harm’s way.” Let me repeat: an app that accurately states politicians’ publicly held positions on reproductive rights and sex education is considered “mean-spirited” and “defamatory”.

Nobody who followed the “Siri, find me an abortion” story thinks this is about “defamatory” content. (If you missed it: Apple’s virtual personal assistant refused to find abortion clinics and occasionally directed people to “crisis pregnancy centers”, which push an anti-choice agenda in the guise of safeguarding women’s health.) And it’s definitely not about a little salty language. This is a symptom of Apple’s ongoing hostility towards reproductive rights.


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