Print 72 comment(s) - last by Belard.. on May 6 at 5:32 AM

Baby Shaker was the hottest new video game for the iPhone, until Apple changed its mind and deigned it offensive, removing it from the App Store.  (Source: YouTube)
Apple appears very confused when it comes to baby shaking

When it comes to iPhone apps, Apple has received bad press aplenty for its policy of strictly regulating the application market.  From competitive browsers to "offensive" apps like a South Park app, the iPhone App Store may have millions of apps, but is still relatively closed.

However, Apple is in the unusual situation this time around for being in hot water for an app it approved.  Apple approved an interesting title -- Baby Shaker -- on the App Store Monday.  This video game, authored by Sikalosoft, looked to channel the inner English au pair in some people, making shaking a baby (as the name implies) into a videogame.

The game consisted of multiple levels.  Each level had a drawing of a baby, which crying loudly.  You would shake the phone until the baby stopped crying and red X's appeared over its eyes (apparently signifying the baby's death).  The app was available from Monday to Wednesday night for $0.99.

Child advocacy groups pitched a fit, demanding Apple remove the app and stating unequivocally that killing babies was unacceptable.  Apple caved in, ruling that there is no longer a place in the world for Baby Shaker.  However, many are noting the curiousness that the company, which is usually so strict with offensive content (like the South Park app) would approve the app in the first place.

As some are pointing out, Apple's iTunes store sells some music which could be designed as highly offensive, with lyrics featuring sexually explicit content, violence, racism, homophobic remarks, strong language, and stories of criminal behavior.

However, as in the past, while other mediums like music and art may deal in the same themes, video games receive the most controversy.  From Wii Beer Pong to the Columbine video game, video game developers' creative licenses have often led to confrontations with the moral opinions of many in society.

You can view a video of Baby Shaker here, and decide for yourself whether it should have be banned.

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RE: Never shake a baby!
By unclesharkey on 4/23/2009 10:18:20 PM , Rating: 3
I want to know where you heard that workers get a bonus for placing a child in another home. Now that is a joke and it does not happen. I have 15 years in child welfare and work with veterans with 30 years and believe me you do not do this kind of job for the money, you do it for the kids and if you don't have the heart for it then we don't want you.

Of course there are bad apples in every bunch but I have seen very few and most of them leave not because they don't like children but because they can't handle the stress.

Let me tell you that we don't want to take a child out of a home and in our state we do everything we can to avoid it. Foster care is not a long term solution and children should be with their families. Besides working with the parents we work with relatives as well. If all else fails then adoption is the last step. But that does not usually happen for at least 12-15 months of working with the family.

In some cases we do get it wrong and we pull a kid that does not need to be pulled. That is why we go in front of a judge within 24 hours after pulling a kid and the child and parents and DSS have attorneys. The judge hears the evidence and then makes a decision.

I would rather pull a kid and then find out it was nothing and let them go home than to take a chance and have the kid die or get injured. We have to go by what the child is telling us or what type of injuries we see or what a doctor or the police are telling us. It is a tough job. One mistake and a child dies. We are damned if we do and damned if we don't.

RE: Never shake a baby!
By JAB on 4/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: Never shake a baby!
By Belard on 4/24/2009 3:54:31 PM , Rating: 3
I want to know where you heard that workers get a bonus for placing a child in another home. Now that is a joke and it does not happen.

Err... its been happening for years in the USA, it varies from state to state of no bonus to thousands of dollars. CPS is also a business. The "more kids that need help", the more funding they need. But yeah, people and companies make money off of children, especially those taken from good homes. Use google, do some research. Here is one of many.

Let me tell you that we don't want to take a child out of a home and in our state we do everything we can to avoid it.

I'm glad to hear that YOU (and your state) is like that. But I've seen CPS do their thing up close and personal... including the 24hr court hearing in front of a judge, but that was on a Friday, so it wasn't until the next week.
But judges will generally side with CPS, even if "info" is incorrect / false.

And sad thing, the child was taken on hear-say and from a "drug problem" from another party. I've seen a case worker lie, I've read the report on the accused and the info was false (I know, becase I witness what really happened). A: CPS calls as mom is leaving state, late for airport. During the 2 minute phone call - she never told mom "we have your kid" B: 1hr later, calls again while mom is bording plane and says "we have kid, are you going to pick him up". trip is canceled. C: When arrived at CPS office, child is proccessed into foster care because mom took too long. D: court report says "mom didn't care". Funny, how hard it is for a person to say "you're leaving on a plane? Wait we have your kid". Mom could have been there in 10-15minutes after the 1st call. Not two hours later from the airport. A woman that worked there played with the child, waiting for mom for pick up, until the case worker decided to proccess the child. (She told us this)

So no... many times, CPS is abusive, they have a lot of power. Talking to attorneys, I've heard plenty about the abuse. In fact, more kids have been abused and sexually assualted and killed by foster parents than by their own parents. Or how about the day-care incident that happened in the mid-80s in which many parents lost their kids and went to prison for 8~15 years based on lies by the DA?

UncleSkarky... People are afraid of CPS for these reasons.
The only people who should be afraid are abusive parents - but such people don't really care much IMHO. But a phone call from a stranger or a person who wants revenge is all that it takes to create a nightmare for parents. If it works out, no "sorry" or repayment for legal bills. Of course this happens to those with lower income who can't afford to protect themselves.

Or how about the teenage girl who called CPS on her parents, so that her little brother and two sisters were removed saying that both dad and mom sexually molested them and with no real evidence. As each child turned 18, they returned home at midnight. As pointed out, once the "child" becomes 18 - the money machine goes away... obviously there is no abuse if 3 teenagers are crying to go home. Oh, the lying daughter when asked by mom why she did this "Oh I wanted to see what would happen"!?! The mother sould have recorded that conversation. If I was her brother, I'd sue that sister for emotional damages. Oh, and what is this girl's future who ruined her family's lives. She's going to become a CPS caseworker!! That is evil, that girl is going to legally ruin people's lives and she obviously gets off on it.

Or the father who was hugging his daughter at a sporting event, lost both of his kids (both about 10). He spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and still lost. So when does hugging your child become a crime? Or the father who was bathing his child in an APT in which the air-ducts are kind of connected - someone "thought" they heard abuse.

If the GOVT. wants to remove children because the parents are poor, then birthcontrol should be free (or a licence should be required) and requirements should be meet. I was recently talking to a women who lost her 4 kids because her BF was molesting some of them and didn't know. I agree that some mothers turn a blind eye... so if she's innocent, they shouldn't have been taken away. She admits she trying to get by, but she nolonger has value in life... nothing matters anymore. :(

I don't think many case-workers have children. If they did and loved their kids, they would know the difference. Going to classes about children and having children are two different things. Of coure there are people who have kids, don't abuse them (physically), but don't have any love. Can't do anything about that. :(

Again, if you're speaking from the heart about your job and YOU really do your best for the children. Then I give you a thumbs up. I think there are a lot of people who really do want to help abused kids, but they are blind about the abuse that CPS does. There should never be a bonus for terminating a parent/child relationship.

RE: Never shake a baby!
By unclesharkey on 4/24/2009 7:08:06 PM , Rating: 2
I am not sure where your anecdotal evidence is coming from but I assure you that those stories are the exception and not the rule. The courts do usually side with DSS and all DSS investigators side with the children. If you are familiar with child welfare law this will be a brief review. At a shelter hearing hearsay is allowed so anyone can say anything. So if the judge has reasonable concerns the child will be sheltered for 30 days at that time you return for an adjudacation hearing. This type of case is based on "preponderance of the evidence" and no hearsay is allowed. It is just like a regular trial.

I suggest you look at the child welfare law in your state. It is very specific as to why a child can be removed. If the parents loose at the adjudacation level they can still appeal it to a judge all the way up to the court of appeals. Maybe 30 years ago this might have been easy to do in a small town but there are a lot of safeguards against this type of abuse.

Also you are wrong about funding. The feds do give the state money but the state also pays for a lot of these kids. It all depends on their IV-E eligibility. Paying for foster care is not cheap and children belong with their families. At one time in states where there are a large number of Native Americans they were placed in foster care a lot. Then the feds passed the ICWA in 1978 and that dropped the number of Native Americans coming into care. 30 Years ago! I am sure that in some rare cases the system is abused by workers or judges. But you have to remember we are on the side of the child at the time of investigation. Once the child comes into care it is the job of the foster care staff to reunify the child with their family.

So one guy writes and article and you buy it hook line and sinker? It looks like sensational journalism to me. He makes all these statements but where is the evidence? I don't get any extra money. I actually got furloughed this year along with all the other State employees in my state. Child protective services and foster care services are federally mandated. If we are not out there trying to protect the children who will do it? IMO we fall under the same category as the police, teachers, doctors and other professionals who's job it is to protect children. Our workers staff shelters, work with the homeless and provide out reach services including in-home services to families which is free of charge. I can only speak for my State and my county but we hold ourselves to a higher standard. When working with families we follow many of the same types of procedures out lined in the Anne E. Casey Foundation.

The unfortunate thing is you can find horror stories in any kind of profession and it is almost impossible to prevent these type of tragedies. Remember we didn't start the fire. But we do need to try to fight them.

RE: Never shake a baby!
By dever on 4/25/2009 3:14:03 PM , Rating: 3
The unfortunate thing is you can find horror stories in any kind of profession
Yes, that may be the case, but since CPS is an arm of the government they wield the ungainly, blunt instrument of legalized use of force. This clearly puts parents at a disadvantage.

I don't think there's any rational parent that doesn't realize that the power of CPS to pull children without a full trial of the parents is a clear violation of our country's founding principals.

Not only that, but CPS workers are personally exempted from lawsuits by parents. So, if a worker screws up "protecting a child" and wrongfully pulls it out of a home, there is no appropriate feedback to the system. Civilians who would make such an impact on a child and family should be terribly liable. But someone who has the power of legalized force on their side should be even more liable, not less.

RE: Never shake a baby!
By Belard on 5/6/2009 5:32:35 AM , Rating: 2
It is no secret that in some states, CPS workers get money for placing children into new homes. CPS, like any other business or govt. enitity has corruption and incompentency.

The day-care nightmare from 1985 was a fact. There are these stories because such things happen. Just as you say that you have "good" experinces, there are way to many victims of CPS.

The companies that support CPS make money... they'll say the child needs (A) (B) and (C) which makes them $1000 a month.

I'm in the USA too... which isn't the perfect country and I don't think there is such a thing. But as noted, when people can abuse the system and not get in trouble for ruining peoples lives, that is a serious problem. Talk to some lawyers who have experince with CPS - they can be a nightmare. They can and DO work to fail the parents if they want to. As far as evidence... its out there, and as seen in COURT with CPS case-workers, they HAVE removed children based off of little / no evidence and not doing any research. They also trick parents into failure: If there is a report. Agree to take a parenting class to improve yourself. But taking a class proves your a bad parent.

CPS to judge: such and such happened.
Parents to Judge: No true.
Jude: give parents classes, sides with CPS.

BUT, yes some people need these classes, some of these kids need to be saved. But when the system is abused, its breaks it.

If you have a son taken away from you based off of lies or incorrect report - what right should someone rip your child from your arms without PROOF first? Its pretty bad when a person calls CPS for help and they don't do anything because they requires work... and when they do something, its wrong wrong wrong.


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