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Did Apple Delay Chelsea Green’s iPhone App for Political Reasons?

It’s just come to our attention that the Apple Store decided to reject an iPhone application called “iSinglePayer” because they deemed it too “politically charged.”

Recently, your humble Chelsea Green Publishing was caught in the iPhone App approval process rigamarole when we tried to launch the Howard Dean’s Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform app simultaneously with the release of the book. The application was delayed for two months with no explanation.

We may have found our explanation.

From Jerome Armstrong of MyDD:

Wow, Apple has thin skin:

Apple Imposes NDA For App Store Rejections

If you’re a developer and Apple rejects your iPhone application from its App Store, the company wants you to shut up and get over it.

Apple’s serious about it: The company has extended the iPhone non-disclosure agreement, which prohibits application developers from discussing programming tips, to include rejection letters as well. Some developers in the past have shared their rejection letters on the web, but now, according to MacRumors, rejection letters include a clause that reads, “THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MESSAGE IS UNDER NON-DISCLOSURE.”

I just went through about as terrible a process as you I could have imagined with the Apple iphone app store. It sucked, with their non-co-opoeration, multi-month delays, and inability to even update the situation for weeks at a time. So sue me.

WSG worked with Chelsea Green through a developer to bring Howard Dean’s book on healthcare reform to the iPhone app store. The app is not just a book, but also an action kit– the sort of ground-breaking thing that Howard Dean is so well known for letting his internet team run with innovating.

Unfortunately, Apple just squashed our roll-out plans. I have thought it was just plain incompetence of Apple that Howard Dean’s iphone app (the book and Action kit) was being delayed for more than two months (with no reason why given). I resisted the thought that it was some sort of political delay by Apple. Well, now I have to wonder, check this out:

Apple Denied Health Care App for Political Reasons

Apple rejected a free iPhone application that advocated a single-payer health system, calling the application “politically charged,” according to the app’s developer.

Red Daly, a 22 year-old computer science grad student at Stanford, submitted his iSinglePayer iPhone app for Apple’s approval on Aug. 21. A little more than a month later Apple rejected it on the grounds of its content, Daly told

This really makes me wonder what is going on with Apple and this sort of censorship.

Read the whole article here.


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