Straight from CEO Steve Jobs himself, Apple’s taken a very public stance on disallowing any app that features adult and inappropriate material, including anything even vaguely pornographic. Jobs said in a famously quoted an e-mail exchange that, “… we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.”
Moral responsibilities are funny, in that they can paint you into some tricky corners. Within the last month, an app from the Exodus International ministry has surfaced on Apple’s digital download hub. Standing at the forefront of the ‘ex-gay’ movement, Exodus believes that homosexuality is something that can be cured through God’s grace. The church has released such books as Leaving Homosexuality or You Don’t Have To Be Gay and is now looking to spread their controversial messaging on same-sex relationships through iOS devices.
In response to the Exodus International app’s release, gay-rights website Truth Wins Out launched a petition at Change.org to have Apple remove it from the App Store. To make its case, the petition cites Apple’s own app guidelines: “Any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms way will be rejected.” So far, the social change website’s logged more than 95,000 signatures that want the app removed. The app’s currently got a two-star rating, with negative comments winning out over positive ones by a more-than-2-to-1 margin. Given Jobs’ stance on moral responsibility and Apple’s own guidelines, it’ll be interesting to see what acknowledgement–if any–this gets from the folks at One Infinite Loop.