Did Change.org Petition cause Apple to Remove ‘Gay Cure’ App?

Posted on Mar 23 2011 - 7:17pm by Robert

A couple of days ago we covered a story surrounding a controversial app offering a ‘cure’ to homosexuality. The app named ‘Exodus International’ was created by Ministers from an organisation with the same name. This prompted a human rights group, Truth Wins Out (TWO) to start a petition on the site change.org.

TWO felt that the app clearly broke Apple’s own guidelines and quoted them on the site, they said: “any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms way will be rejected.” And asked people to sign the petition if they felt Apple should remove the App; at the time of writing the petition was 100,000 strong – today this number stands at over 150,000 which must have caused Apple to at least re-think the approval.

Apple confirmed to CNET that they had now removed the app; they didn’t mention the petition but did explain that the app did indeed break their developer guidelines. A spokesperson said: “it [Exodus App] violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.”

This whole catalogue of events has obviously upset a lot of people for a variety of reasons. The question is could this have been avoided? Should Apple have denied the app from the outset or indeed should they have allowed it to remain on the App store? The answer would probably depend on who you ask.

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