Forget about Bobble Rep (an app illustrated by Tom Richmond) which should have been a fun, unique, new way for Americans to contact their government representatives. The app, which listed contact information for members of Congress has been rejected. Not because it might cause the iPhone to explode (even Apple figured out that this ain’t a terrorist app); not because citizens might contact their government – no. It is because, according to Apple’s approval guidelines, section 3.3.14 insinuates that the app ridicules public figures. Public figures – not even heads of state; not government ministers, public figures. There are a lot of public figures out there in the world – let’s see if Apple are ready to support such bland band-aid dogmas.
Rejection letter and article continued after the gap:
Apple’s choice of the word ridicule has broad implications. Firstly, the rejection letter does not mention what issue has drawn rejection, rather that any of the following: “text, graphics, images, photographs, sounds, etc.” drew Apple’s scorn. On a shallow level, it is easy to guess: Apple have rejected the app because of its unilateral depiction of members of Congress with big heads, and in some cases, noses.
Caricatures are often used by publications for ridicule, but this app houses a compilation of all 540 voting members, their political ties, and contact information – it isn’t singling anyone out; it isn’t spurning public figures. However, Bobble Rep is likely greedily lapping up much more press than it would have had the app been approved to enthuses Americans.
I take issue with section 3.3.14. Bobble Rep has ostensibly been singled-out apropos to the ‘public figures’ hidden within. But, if any of the following: text, graphics, images, photographs, sound can be applied to rejection of apps, Apple have a lot of back-tracking to do. Firstly, there are many apps which ridicule public figures of past and present in the App Store, some much worse than a contact list. If Apple are serious about the egos of public figures, they need to rip out all text-based apps, soundboards, and caricature-based apps for ALL PUBLIC FIGURES from ALL COUNTRIES. In a word, Apple’s rejection of Bobble Rep is bullsh*t.
They have misjudged the public on more than a few levels and yet again, have proven selectively biased. Americans are left devoid of another clever way to contact the people who run their government. Apple no doubt, will gather even more scathing criticism as it sends another creative developer down the plank. This time, commercial interests be damned, Apple have effed up.
Here is the Letter
Subject: Bobble Rep – 111th Congress Edition 1.0: Application Submission Feedback
Please include the line below in follow-up emails for this request.
Dear Mr. Griggs,
Thank you for submitting Bobble Rep – 111th Congress Edition to the App Store. We’ve reviewed Bobble Rep – 111th Congress Edition and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it contains content that ridicules public figures and is in violation of Section 3.3.14 from the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement which states:
“Applications may be rejected if they contain content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, sounds, etc.) that in Apple’s reasonable judgement may be found objectionable, for example, materials that may be considered obscene, pornographic, or defamatory.”
A screenshot of this issue has been attached for your reference.
If you believe that you can make the necessary changes so that Bobble Rep – 111th Congress Edition does not violate the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, we encourage you to do so and resubmit it for review.
iPhone Developer Program
[via Tom Richmond.com]