The way that the iTunes App Store is set up is the foundation on which controversy is built. For developers interacting with the App Store the fear of rejection is an every growing one. Developers will work on creating an iPhone app, only to then submit it for review by Apple. It then has the ability to be accepted or rejected based on the content or structure of the app, and more than a few have been rejected because what they have behind their menus may be able to offend some users out in touch screen land. This was not the case when Apple gave the stamp of approval to the Manhattan Declaration app, which has been decried as openly anti-gay by many users.
The Manhattan Declaration is a document that was produced by a number of different Christian groups to endorse specific values, mainly that they list as ‚Äúthe sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty.‚Äù Within the text there are strong objections to same sex marriage and relationships and indications that this is one of the primary forces by which the institution is attacked. It goes on to take anti-abortion stances as well as other points common to the New Conservatism in American politics.
As is the style of modern techno-culture, this manifesto was recently given up to Apple for approval as an iPhone app. When it was passed there was an immediate uproar, especially since Apple‚Äôs track record would seem to indicate that it had little likelihood at standing. Apple has been known for banning apps if there is even a casual hint that this would interfere with their market interests, which could be seen especially clearly when banning an app for the Android Magazine because it details a competing smart phone.
The Manhattan Declaration app itself is built around a short quiz where the user is asked their opinion on things such as same sex marriage and abortion, which it then tells the user that they have failed to answer correctly if there is any endorsement of these institutions.
The LGBT community hit back immediately, especially since it seems out of character for this type of content to be accepted onto a new medium such as the iPhone. In response those who did help to compose the original Manhattan Declaration made public comments about how the community has not expressed why ‚Äúhomosexuality deserves it‚Äù and indicating that women‚Äôs rights indicates that ‚Äúwomen have a right to kill their child.‚Äù
What this controversy seems to indicate is that Apple may rescind on their decision, which has angered a large portion of the young iPhone user base. This may end up setting a new precedent for standards on how Apple approaches the approval of iPhone content.
note: app has been removed from iTunes by Apple.