Apple bans of Gab, Parler, and Breitbart make iPhone a defective product

It is bizarre enough when Google, Facebook, and Twitter ban conservative expression. But it is incredible when Apple does the same thing with its products (smartphones and tablets). A service provider, like Google, Facebook, or Microsoft, has some latitude in how it provides its services. A product manufacturer however, has no such latitude. It is liable for all defects that impair the product’s function, which used to be unintentional. Third party apps are the main feature of a smartphone. However, Apple uses its App Store to impair iPhone when the consumers want to view conservative information, use social networks that do not discriminate against conservatives (like Parler), and access healthcare information which Apple does not like or which tends to cut into its profits. Even more egregiously, Apple lies to its consumers about these actions.

In other words, iPhone buyers have the right to use Parler, Gab, and whatever other apps are banned by Apple, and have legal standing to protect this right. Apple cannot simply take away this right, through a user agreement that all users are forced to “accept.”

In November 2016, Apple removed the Breitbart app for a few days. In the same time Apple allowed an anti-Breitbart app – News Pro-Breitbart Edition – even though it was clearly infringing on Breitbart’s trademark. Many people alarmed by the ban found News Pro-Breitbart Edition, and concluded that the ban on Breitbart was a conspiracy theory.

Breitbart was one of the top media websites, ranking in line with Bloomberg and CBS News, and above ABC News and the Guardian.

Apple simply doesn’t make it possible to sideload apps on its mobile operating systems” – Wired, 2020

2021-04-09 update: Apple also threatens developers and content providers whose apps it rejected. From App Store Review Guidelines (September 2014):

“If your App is rejected, we have a Review Board that you can appeal to. If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps.”

This threat was there from 2010.

1 thought on “Apple bans of Gab, Parler, and Breitbart make iPhone a defective product

  1. Its system is significantly less robust than the processes put in place by Facebook and Twitter, which rely on thousands of content moderators and sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) to root out and remove violative posts. These systems are not perfect — plenty of rulebreaking posts make it through Facebook and Twitter’s filters. But Parler, which does not use AI technology to help spot illegal posts, is not doing enough, according to the companies that dropped it over the weekend. “Apple will be banning Parler until we give up free speech, institute broad and invasive policies like Twitter and Facebook and we become a surveillance platform by pursuing guilt of those who use Parler before innocence,” chief executive John Matze posted on the site. He added that the site has “many options” to continue operating.

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