Apple Allows a Cartoon App, and a Glimpse of Free Speech

Mark Fiore’s cartoon application is now available through the Apple App Store. But a group that represents cartoonists like him is now lobbying for the company to change its rules for humorous, politically charged apps.Mr. Fiore’s app, called NewsToons, was rejected by Apple last December for ridiculing public figures, an act that is banned in Apple’s developer agreement. After Mr. Fiore won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning two weeks ago, and told a journalist of his previous dealings with Apple, the company encouraged him to resubmit the app. He found out last Tuesday that it had been approved and added to Apple’s App Store.To read this report in The New York Times in full, see: see:App rejections fall far from tree
The story could have been programmed to draw media coverage, were it not for its implausibility: Apple (a reader magnet) banned a future Pulitzer Prize winner’s iPhone application (invoking journalists’ professional pride) because it “ridicules public figures” (spurring righteous indignation among reporters who live to afflict the comfortable).But as crazy as that sounds, it’s what Apple did in December when it rejected cartoonist Mark Fiore’s NewsToons. A hail of bad publicity resulted when the news emerged after his April 12 Pulitzer award. taking on porn for the iPhone
… iPorn, anyone? Steve Jobs reportedly took another shot at Google’s Android operating system, saying that’s where people looking for porn should go.Jobs’ remark came from an e-mail he apparently sent to an Apple customer who was concerned about Apple’s practice of not approving some apps that it finds objectionable. Jobs told the customer that a case like the December rejection of an app by Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Mark Fiore was a “mistake,” but that porn won’t find a home in the Apple App Store.

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