Apple Cans App That Slams Its Supply Chain

Phone Story contains 'objectionable content,' Apple says

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 15, 2011 10:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – An app that takes a harsh look at the smartphone industry has been removed from Apple's App Store. Phone Story included four mini-games involving child labor in Africa, worker suicides in China, e-waste disposal in developing countries, and consumerism in the West. Apple says it banned the app for reasons including the depiction of child abuse and "excessively objectionable or crude content," although it appears to be the company itself that found the game's content objectionable, the Guardian notes.

The founder of game developer Molleindustria tells Gamasutra that Apple's reaction highlights another problem with the smartphone industry. "The unanimous reaction from the developers community has been, 'Wow, it's incredible Phone Story made it through Apple's review process,'" he says. "To me, this signals a full acceptance of a regime of censorship, the equivalent, for developers, of what journalists call the 'chilling effect.' "

"We don't want people to stop buying smartphones, but maybe we can make a little contribution in terms of shifting the perception of technological lust from cool to not-that-cool," its creator says.   (Phone Story)
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