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Apple Bites Back

Jim Burroway

March 22nd, 2011

The app…

is gone…

Apple hasn’t made an official announcement, but searching through Apple’s App store for Exodus’s app comes up empty.

Everyone with an iPhone and iPad is still perfectly capable of accessing Exodus’s web site via Safari, so Exodus’s ability to convey their message to everyone with a mobile devices remains intact. And just as every other merchant is free to decide what merchandise they think is appropriate to convey on their premises, Apple is free to determine what apps they wish to make available in their app store. That’s freedom.

Comments

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Pomo
March 22nd, 2011 | LINK

The app was mostly harmless and the stink our community made to get it removed only makes us look like bullies. I think this whole debacle overall caused us more harm than good.

beachewtoy75
March 22nd, 2011 | LINK

I totally agree, Pomo.

I actually downloaded and used the app. It’s just a watered down version of their website AND it didn’t work very well. The only people who are going to download it are supporters of Exodus and curious gays like me.

I don’t like what they stand for either, but as far as the app is concerned, there was no objectionable content other than the fact that some people just didn’t like what EI said (understandable).

johnathan
March 22nd, 2011 | LINK

@Pomo: I agree with you. Freedom of speech goes both ways. However, as a private corporation, Apple is well within its rights to limit speech by means of the applications it authorizes. (Of course, they may lose or gain clients, but this is the risk they take.) When the GLBT raises too much of a stink, as you correctly noted, I fear it can only bite us in the rear.

beachewtoy75
March 22nd, 2011 | LINK

I also just had a thought.

What if this was all on purpose?

After the Manhattan Declaration app, they might have thought that this would be a good way to blame the gays for being “intolerant” of their views.

Like I said earlier, the app didn’t work very well and it was developed with the help of some free app making website, so that makes me think the didn’t spend much time, just so they could get it out there and get complaints.

chiMaxx
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

I agree: I think Exodus and what they do is evil, but I don’t support the effort to remove this app from the App Store, and I certainly don’t celebrate its demise.

I’d much rather we put our efforts toward encouraging Apple to be less censorious in their store.

Remember the stink when Amazon listed a whole slew of gay-related titles as pornographic, thus removing their reviews and taking them out of search results? Cheering when someone is silenced by those in power is likely to come around to bite us sooner rather than later.

esurience
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

“Cheering when someone is silenced by those in power is likely to come around to bite us sooner rather than later.”

No one has been silenced.

You know, there was a time when homosexuality was much more widely and powerfully stigmatized than it is now. And in that time, companies certainly wouldn’t touch anything that was “gay.”

Now that the pendulum is swinging the other way and homosexuality is much less stigmatized, and anti-gay hatred is becoming the thing that is stigmatized, why shouldn’t the same rules apply to them?

Ryan
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

It was wrong when gays were silenced, and it’s wrong now when anti-gays are being silenced. It’s not illegal, obviously, for gay groups to try to get Apple to drop the app, and it has nothing to do with freedom of speech, but I still wish they hadn’t done it. It definitely makes us look bad and helps the religious folk exploit their martyr complexes.

a.mcewen
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

We had every perfect right to make a stink about this app. Ex-gay methodology is a junk science which causes more harm than good. Why not have an app advocating lobotomies? And as far as looking like bullies, I sympathize, but there are times when you have to stand up against something which you know is wrong without fear of what other folks – who don’t like you anyway – will think of you.

PC
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Sometime might want to tell Exodus how to spell Cincinnati

PC
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

*Someone, not sometime

Regan DuCasse
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

I understand how all of you feel. I really do.
Let me offer this perspective. You’ve all witnessed how religious conservatives say they are being silenced, when in fact, they are being challenged. There is a common complaint that God and prayer have been taken from public schools, but it’s not as if there aren’t MANY OTHER OPTIONS.

So what if Exodus doesn’t have an iPhone app. They are everywhere without restriction in other areas.
But note that those of us with dissenting information to offer, are not allowed to comment, or have articles on their websites.
They tend to avoid forums and media they don’t think they’ll be favored in or control.
Their conferences don’t invite an ‘alternative’ point of view.

And although that dissent can protest outside of whatever venue, it’s not like such conferences or their freedom to operate at all is restricted.
They just don’t get EVERYTHING.
And why SHOULD they?

The very people who complain about being silenced, notice posit as conjecture.
‘We will be’ or ‘this what will happen’.
How can anyone believe there is silencing of Christians or other conservatives when they are offered writing opportunities, broadcast media forums and the internet is loaded with their own sites, information and opinions?

I might believe them if they lived in CHINA, but they don’t.

They have PLENTY of opportunity, forums and resources to do a great deal.
And who they are addressing has a great deal of information available that our opposition doesn’t have complete control over.
And perhaps better minds are prevailing when comparisons are made.
Exodus is losing in the court of public opinion because they aren’t too intelligent, nor do they have evidence of their assertions.
But, blaming the gays is what they would do with just about anything. That’s easy.

Apple isn’t their only option, and if they pitch a fit as if it is, well… we can point out to them how many ways they’ve been accommodated and NOT silenced.
And it would be the truth.

Priya Lynn
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

This is a very good thing. It sends the message that anti-gayness is now socially unacceptable. Definitely a win for our side.

Richard Rush
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

I don’t think this makes us look like bullies, except to those who loath us anyway. I think it makes us look like we have the self-respect and balls to stand up to authoritarian bullies who have defined their lives and built their livelihoods around defaming, demeaning, denigrating, disparaging, degrading, denouncing, deploring, demonizing, and delegitimizing our existence. And then after they have “successfully helped” plunge some sad souls into the depths of despair, they offer to sell them a quack cure. And when the “cure” inevitably doesn’t work, they console them with, “that’s okay, the opposite of homosexuality isn’t heterosexuality anyway, it’s holiness!”

There are not two legitimate sides up for debate here. Exodus’ sole reason for existing is to fan the flames of society’s loathing of gay people, which in-turn produces self-loathing gays. We can either defend ourselves or allow them to trample on us.

While Exodus’ loss of the Apple App won’t do much to curtail their activities, the fact that a large respected company refuses to be associated with them is worth something in the battle for public opinion. The degree to which our opponents rant about it will be directly proportional to it’s significance to our cause.

Priya Lynn
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Makyui at Truth Wins Out said “We didn’t get as far as we did by “agreeing to disagree” with the people who hate us and want us to disappear. We did it by standing up to them and telling them that they aren’t special, and that they don’t get to step all over us whenever they feel like it.

I do not believe letting Exodus keep its App in the App store will stop the march of progress in the American civil rights movement.

But it will send a message that defaming gay people is acceptable, that fundamentalist groups that are sneaky enough and cry loud enough can get their way, and that quack groups are free to prey on vulnerable children and adults with their pseudoscientific bullsh*t, so long as they claim it’s for Jesus.

I’m not sure how that will help anyone but Exodus…The app was released with children in mind. If anyone needs protection from predatory frauds like Exodus, it’s vulnerable LGBT youth. “Agreeing to disagree” doesn’t feel so good when people are being hurt in the meantime.”.

TonyJazz
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

The gay bars I go to are full of young people with iPhones. I’m happy to see that Apple finally got smart enough to see who their customer base happens to be….and that another voice for bigotry was confronted and defeated.

Timothy Kincaid
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

I thought a few times about writing a commentary on this. But it isn’t quite as cut and dried a situation and I couldn’t address it without giving a great deal of detail and attention, and I just don’t have a lot of spare time at the moment.

Here’s the short version:

I think that we ought not take the approach of extending or restricting access to information based on point of view. So I oppose the idea of lobbying Apple to deny an app for Exodus.

If Exodus wants a ‘pray the gay away’ app, I have no problem with that.

On the other hand, the Exodus site contains objectively false information and deliberate distortion of people’s work. Dr. Ramiferi, for example, is well entitled to object to the misuse of his name and reputation and I support him in doing so.

So, for me, the resolution would be that Apple refuse to allow the app for so long as it links to false facts or deliberate distortions of others’ work.

In other words, hey Exodus, I support your right to exist and the have a fair footing in the marketplace of ideas. But you make it difficult when you get involved in all the other crap. Clean up your act and I’ll be the first to champion your right to spew your nonsense.

a mcewen
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

And tim u know as well as I do that these groups more often than not ignore medical professionals who complain about how their work is being distorted.

Rossi
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

The simple answer is to just take a look at the Terms of Service for apps as published by Apple. This application demonstrated a double standard, and it’s been pointed out in just about every other professional developer’s environment that this application does NOT meet those standards, set by Apple themselves as is their right.

I looked at this application and looked at the TOS, and it most certainly does defame a group. Period. Call it what you want, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

I am tired of hearing the “censorship” strawman, as Apple doesn’t have to carry your crap, and you don’t have to use Apple’s products. That’s what freedom is about, and the conservatives who argue otherwise run right into a brick wall called “Hypocrisy” as their typical response to anything these days is “free markets”.

Jim Burroway
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

I’m not convinced of the censorship argument myself. Apple runs a store. If I were to write a book, do I have the right to demand that Barnes & Noble stock it?

Timothy (TRiG)
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

I think that we ought not take the approach of extending or restricting access to information based on point of view. So I oppose the idea of lobbying Apple to deny an app for Exodus.

If Exodus want to produce an app for Android, I’d have no problem with that at all. Android is an (almost) open platform. The iPhone and the iPad are not open platforms. When you buy an iPhone, you do not actually own it. You do not have the right to run any software on your iPhone unless that software has been approved by Apple.

So when Apple allows an Exodus International app, that sends the message that Apple approves of Exodus International. And that wouldn’t be a problem either, if Apple was like Amazon, selling anything it can get its hands on. Amazon is happy to sell anti-gay books, and gay books, and there’s no hypocrisy involved there. They sell anything. Apple, by contrast, is quite restrictive. They blocked VLC Media Player (which is only the best on the planet) because of incompatibilities between the GNU GPL and the iPhone ToS. They block a lot of stuff, for a lot of reasons. They block pornography apps (Playboy has an iPhone app … for the articles).

So when Apple allows an Exodus International app, that sends the message that Apple approves of Exodus International. And I think that encouraging Apple to change their mind is no bad thing.

TRiG.

esurience
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

It’s not wrong for a private entity to refuse to promote immoral material.

In fact, that’s the right thing to do.

Now I know some of you are saying to yourselves “Well some people think gays are immoral!”

Yup, they do. And we have to argue about them with that.

If a company were to refuse to disseminate pro-gay material, the right argument to make to them would NOT be “You shouldn’t restrict immoral material, you should be a marketplace of all ideas, even ones you think are obscene!”

No, the right argument would be “There’s nothing immoral about homosexuality”

It seems people crying about “censorship” keep avoiding having a discussion about the merits of the various positions.

So let’s get the merits clear: anti-gay = bad, pro-gay = good. Yeah, there’s disagreement about that, and so we continue to have the argument.

Timothy Kincaid
March 24th, 2011 | LINK

I’m not convinced of the censorship argument myself. Apple runs a store. If I were to write a book, do I have the right to demand that Barnes & Noble stock it?

Actually, this is a good example. Barnes and Noble as a private business carries such books as will appeal to their customers and ensure a profit. They have decided that they will include both gay supportive books and those which espouse anti-gay ideologies and proposals.

We could, if we were so inclined, lobby B&N to only include books that have our views and are not contradicted by others. In fact, some in our community would suggest that we have an obligation to shut down those voices which favor mistreatment of our community.

And we could go to our friends and supporters and lobby and petition and try to make B&N feel a financial pressure to remove books by Ann Coulter or Mike Huckabee. AT the very least, drop books by Alan Chambers or Joe Dallas, we could say.

We could put it in terms of civil rights and morality.

And we might be successful. And as this is a private decision of a private company, there is no question of censorship. Besides, such books are still available directly from the authors and it’s but a small inconvenience in the age of the internet.

But I would oppose such an effort.

Had the brunt of this Apple app campaign been based on factual inaccuracies and fraudulent misuse of research, and had it given Exodus parameters around which to resolve the conflict, I would be a vocal supporter. I was not. Rather it was a campaign to shut down Exodus’ app because we don’t like Exodus’ views.

Exodus’ views are deemed to be hatred and discriminatory and harmful (and for some reason we threw in “gay exorcisms”, even though Exodus does not perform exorcisms) and in opposition to diversity and equality. So let’s shut them down.

Here is the language of the petition on change.org:

As concerns citizens of the United States Of America and consumers of all Apple products, we write this letter asking Apple to BAN all discrimintory applications by Exodus International on the Apple App Store. We know Apple believes in diversity and equality and we know you will do what is morally right by removing such content. Exodus International strives on demonizing the LGBT population, going as far as performing emotional, mental, and sometimes even physical harm to LGBT people by performing “gay exorcisms”. Applications on Apple App Store should not promote hatred and discrimination to any minority group and we DEMAND that you BAN ALL APPLICATIONS by EXODUS INTERNATIONAL that have been approved by Apple with discriminitory gestures within.

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