Life is a Mystery

11 May 2009

Not so holy

Apple seems to think religious folk can’t take a little ribbing by an iPhone app. In order to avoid offending religious sensibilities, Apple has rejected the “Me so Holy” app from the iPhone store.

This app lets you use the iPhone camera to place your friend’s face into a picture of Jesus. Or a nun. Or other religious figures. Is Mohammed among them? Good thing Apple does not publish comics.

I think Apple is getting seriously off course by putting itself in the position of policing what uses tools might be put to. Of course “Me so Holy” could create something offensive. But so can virtually any drawing or photo collage application. What makes religious content so sacrosanct? (Um, ok, maybe that’s a dumb question.) Are we really so thin skinned? What makes apps like “iFart” OK, but “Me so Holy” taboo?

Apple needs to back off this policing kick. It is a no-win situation for Apple and will only inspire covert shenanigans that will serve nobody. The only criteria for App Store rejection ought to be concern that an app damages the system or itself contains illegal media (child pornography and the like). Otherwise, open the doors.

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Eric Celeste / Saint Paul, Minnesota / 651.323.2009 / efc@clst.org