Apple celebrates Pride month by allowing LGBT + censorship of countries
Stop us if you’ve heard it before: Apple puts profits above human decency, compassion, and well-being.
A common report released earlier this week by digital rights groups Fight for the future and Big fire details how the Big Tech giant’s monopoly tactics allow censorship of LGBTQ + communities by many countries through the outright removal or ban of various queer and adjacent queer apps. “Most of the app stores where the most apps are blocked coincide with countries already low on the human rights list for the queer community,” the group read. official statement on the report.
However, the number of deleted LGBTQ + apps often varies from country to country, regardless of the country’s level of intolerance towards queer populations, which the groups say underscores “Apple’s role in the activation of this censorship “. Fight for the Future and GreatFire cite Malaysia as a prime example: While homosexuality remains illegal in the country, only seven LGBTQ + apps have been removed from the App Store. Meanwhile, countries like Niger and South Korea are among the top 10 worst offenders, despite the legalization of homosexuality.
“Apple may argue that blocking apps where LGBTQ + people can find community and security is just the ‘cost of doing business’ in repressive countries, but the point is that Apple’s draconian monopoly on l ‘App Store – especially its decision to prevent users from installing apps from the open web to maintain control and profit – makes this discrimination and censorship possible, ”said the director of Fight for the Future, Evan Greer.
It increasingly appears that the App Store’s stranglehold on user accessibility is not sustainable in the long term … a possibility that Apple has apparently known about for a long time now, which makes it all worse in some way. of another.
The worst offenders – It’s no surprise which nations ended up being the most restrictive. Saudi Arabia is ranked as the worst offender, according to the report, with 28 LGBTQ + apps reported to be unavailable in the country, followed closely by China, which has removed 27 apps. The least available app in the world is we belong, a social platform for marginalized people, not found in 144 App Stores.
A relatively simple solution – Of course, there is a fairly straightforward way to lessen the nation’s crackdown on gay people ‘access to these useful and even vital apps: to allow customers around the world to access third-party app downloads. “If Apple, like Google’s Android, allowed installations from the open web, there would be no conflict with local law, but Apple is not doing this to protect its monopoly and the flow of free money that it does. extorts from application developers. read the groups press release.
“It’s a matter of life and death for many queer and trans people around the world, who often find community and safety through these apps,” said Utsav Ghandi, activist and researcher for Fight for the Future. “It is unacceptable that Apple continues this business practice, which is fundamentally incompatible with the basic human rights and safety of LGBTQ + people.”