What you think of App Store censorship?

If I had a grocery store, then to me it feels natural that I get to pick what fruits I’m selling there. There might be fruit providers who want me to sell their fruit, but shouldn’t I get to decide what fruits I sell?

Sure, it might sometimes (or even very often) feel not fair, or not logical (perhaps I just like orange more than bananas), but still… it’s my shop. I get to make the rules, right?

If something external force would determine what products I should sell in my shop, I feel that would be very bad situation. Imagine if there was a law that said that if you sell your games directly, you must also sell coffee cups promoting “save the whales” – good cause sure, but in terms of freedom pretty shitty.

As the shopkeeper I need to listen to my customers (or won’t have a shop very long..) but in the end it should be my freedom to have 100% control over items I decide to sell.

What you think?

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. I must confess that, while I do own a Mac I’m not entirely up to speed on the finer details of what is it exactly that’s being censored on the App Store. Still, as far as principles go I can say this:

    Apple, you should put whatever you want at the store. I don’t care if your standards are ridiculous though I would strongly prefer that you make them public.

    Apple, you’d do well to establish yourself as a curator of good software (and then do it). It gives you more credibility and makes me want to spend more money on your services (money being something that, considering the price you sell your stuff at, you keenly favour.)

    Apple, you should probably not conduct witch hunts on software that you’ve decided to exclude from your store and making your shop the only place I can get software for my Mac. I don’t particularly enjoy these kinds of practices, when they’re not illegal outright, so it would make me less prone to give you money (even though I really like your hardware and particularly , as we’ve established, since you really like money.)

    Bottom line is: I support a company curating the content they offer through their own outlets; I don’t support monopolising the market though I’m willing to put up with it if I’m somewhat sold on the product (e.g. I own a PS3 and, as with most consoles, it’s a market Sony has a tight grip on.)

  2. Sure, but in some cases the analogy doesn’t exactly hold. With Apple, for instance, it’d be as if the city you live in decided that only one grocery store was allowed, and do everything they could to keep you from going to shop in other stores. It makes sense for companies to have control over what they sell, but when those companies also set themselves up as the only source, then they shouldn’t be surprised when there’s backlash.

    • If the city construction would be funded with tax dollars, then I’d agree.

      But if the city was 100% built by one company who would first buy land, then buy all the materials, create all the buildings… then they would get to decide to whom they rent any rooms or who gets in to the city, to their private property.

      Apple has created their Store from zero. Just because it’s huge, it doesn’t mean they couldn’t have total control over it. It’s still their system. Their sandbox. They get to make the rules.

      Imagine if App Store had only 9 customers, and 2 products.

      Would Apple then get to say which products get in, or would some other non-Apple people get to decide which products get to the Store?

      If I would agree with you, then should it be so that others developer gets to sell their games on my site even if I don’t want that?

      (Please notice that I agree on that “they shouldn’t be surprised”, and I’m not saying Apple is doing the right thing here – I too wish that Apple would do things differently… but that’s all I can do. I still have no right to control their marketplace)

    • A sidenote: what’s also interesting that they censor only things that directly do thing X.

      …but they don’t (always) censor apps that allow indirect linking to thing X. For example, twitter apps are full of wicked, user generated content. Apple isn’t censoring twitter app.

      …Which to me makes me wonder: why censor in the first place?

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