apple criticized for censoring LGBTQ and apps on its store
June 17, 2021 (2 years ago)
Apple has been criticized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for censoring its storefront applications in China. The Commission is, of course, responsible for protecting the consumer's rights to download apps into their devices. However, it is widely understood that the company's reasoning is based on profits rather than customer need.
Let's look at some of the things the company could have done differently: It could have offered more options by allowing users to filter out apps they don't want to purchase based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It could have offered a choice of niche or specialized apps that cater to a particular audience. It might even have added a button for parents to control what their kids are viewing on the iPhone. As it is, the only way to get past the apps that Apple feels is a problem is to install a customized third-party app.
This is understandable; however, it does not alter the fact that customers can do much better without Apple's stringent app policies. There are other options. For example, Google Play and the Android Marketplace have been growing in recent years, and it would be a shame for consumers in the iPhone space to miss out on opportunities to download high quality apps. It would also be a disappointment to the Gay and lesbian community to miss out on apps that promote self-acceptance and understanding.
While it may be possible to find a gay iPhone app on the Google Play Store, it may be harder to find one that does not require the use of additional logging in information to gain access. This makes it a waste of time. Furthermore, it would take up valuable storage space on the phone, as well as a distraction from the more important stuff going on within.
On the other hand, there are a number of third party companies that offer an App in an Apple iPhone format, or rather, an iPhone app compatible with the use on the Apple device. These companies would provide users with a choice between a gay, lesbian, bisexual, and straight version of the app, and allow them to freely choose which parts of the app they would like to use. The feature might be available only for a few initial steps, but it is certainly worth the expense. Users would have access to thousands of gay and lesbian themed apps. They would also have access to apps designed by celebrated gay authors and artists.
What could Apple do? Honestly, it has little to do with what it feels are its competitors' ability to do justice to gay and lesbian customers. Instead, it would simply need to take a step back and reevaluate its own position on the matter. That would involve finding a way to distinguish itself from the pack on its app marketplace. Apple realizes that people in the market place are not all about style and glamour. The company realizes that appeal and functionality are just as important factors when choosing an app for a niche market as they are when choosing a phone.
By developing an App specifically for the gay community, Apple could establish itself as the fun, accessible, and fun gaming and social networking company that it wants to be. It could make itself the one-stop company that caters to the gay community's need for a place to gather. It would also set a precedent for the company in the mobile gaming world. If an app could be developed specifically for the gay community, then it could very well become the next Zynga or Facebook.
This is where Apple could really step up and become the home for the gay iPhone market. However, the company is facing intense pressure from the FBI to give more details on the investigation into their iPhone devices. Could Apple to pull a fast one and pretend that the FBI asked them to look into the matter? Who knows? Only time will tell.
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