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Apple continues to decide what content is morally acceptable for its iPhone users, rejecting a Jesus-themed app titled "Me So Holy".  (Source: Benjamin Kahle)
Apple is happy to guide its users' moral decisions

Developer Benjamin Kahle wanted to give iPhone app fans their own personal Jesus with his new "Me So Holy" iPhone app (follow the link to see video of the app).  However, Mr. Kahle found out the hard way that Apple tightly controls what it content it considers moral enough for its iPhone customers.  Continuing the saga of rejected apps -- which include a South Park app and the "Baby Shaker" app -- the new Jesus-themed app has now become the latest Apple reject.

The "Me So Holy" app arguably gives users a humorous introduction to the world's religions.  It features various religious figures, including Jesus, and allows iPhone users to take their own picture, crop it, and put it in place of Jesus and company's faces.  Apple quickly rejected the app, informing Mr. Khale that it was "objectionable".

Apple wrote, "Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users."

Mr. Khale protested the move and Apple's censorship, stating, "Our question is, is religion really to be placed in the same category as these violent apps? Sex, urine, and defecation don't seem to be off-limits, yet a totally non-violent, religion-based app is."

However, not even Mr. Khale's protest could save this app, which has headed straight to Apple rejection purgatory.  Perhaps not all is lost as Apple previously had rejected a profanity-containing app update from Nine Inch Nails' chief Trent Reznor, only to turn around and accept it.

Before "Me So Holy", Mr. Khale authored the app "Animalizer", which surprisingly is much less offensive than his current app.  "Animalizer" featured a similar theme -- users take their picture, crop it, and place it on various animal body.  Both apps also allow users to insert their own caption in cartoon-esque text blobs.

Aside from the disappointment of Mr. Khale, the story of "Me So Holy" serves to highlight Apple's unusual stand with the App store.  In a time when retail stores have become increasingly accepting of adult-themed material, and even Apple's own iTunes features a great deal of adult content, Apple has chosen the iPhone as the platform for its moral stand.  While at times contradictory, its rejections and policies send a clear message to users -- Apple will decide what content is moral enough for them.

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@!$@ good, Jesus bad
By Screwballl on 5/12/2009 11:26:43 AM , Rating: 4
Welcome to the theme song of the new millennium.
If it is degrading, evil, or all around bad, including language or music, then we have to be understanding enough that it is free speech... but as soon as religion enters in, that is BAD!

If I remember right, there is a 3rd party iPhone store where people can submit and get these rejected apps, provided the creator submitted it. Wish I still had the url for it.

RE: @!$@ good, Jesus bad
By jenigmaa on 5/12/2009 11:47:06 AM , Rating: 5
Apple also rejected the baby-shaking App, and the Nine inch Nails App. It is not just religion. It's the company's decision to not sell the app in the App Store. If a consumer wants the app that badly, then they are free to find it using a 3rd Party store.

RE: @!$@ good, Jesus bad
By therealnickdanger on 5/12/2009 12:06:40 PM , Rating: 2
Myself knowing nothing about the App Store - I'm a WM user - they have a 3rd party app store where you can get any app? I thought - from the outside looking in - that you could only purchase and use "Apple-certified" apps from its store. So for all of these months that I've been hearing people complain, they could just go and get the app anyway?

So then what's the big deal about the app store?

RE: @!$@ good, Jesus bad
By suppressex on 5/12/2009 1:04:04 PM , Rating: 2
The 3rd party app store is not run by Apple. In order to use it you have to "jailbreak" your iPhone. I believe the "real" app store has a larger audience, and so apps distributed through it stand to benefit from that (ie higher profits, wider distribution, etc).

The people who are complaining have often just spent months learning how to program for the iPhone (and sometimes quite a bit of money) with the sole intent of putting something in Apple's official app store, never expecting to hear that Apple rejects their content on what probably feels like a whim. I'm sure it's a lousy feeling.

RE: @!$@ good, Jesus bad
By therealnickdanger on 5/12/2009 2:43:44 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, I see. I was aware that "jailbroken" phones could use other apps, but I thought you meant normal phones. Makes sense now, thanks.

RE: @!$@ good, Jesus bad
By xRyanCat on 5/12/2009 2:27:30 PM , Rating: 5
Except there aren't 3rd party stores.

Where's the EU when you need them? It's only a matter of time before Apple becomes the most anti-competitive company in the world. If Microsoft did half the things Apple did they would have been fined to oblivion.

RE: @!$@ good, Jesus bad
By QueBert on 5/18/2009 4:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
Uhhh, yes there are. I PAID for an app on the Cydia store, it charged my Visa and my phone now has a new app on it. I would say that qualifies as a "3rd party store"

RE: @!$@ good, Jesus bad
By sprockkets on 5/19/2009 10:20:52 PM , Rating: 2
Apple did NOT reject the baby app UNTIL people complained about it.

But come to think about it, the real reason why it was rejected is because Steve Jobs does not believe that Jesus was the real Messiah, but that he is the real deal and he is the real savior of the market.

RE: @!$@ good, Jesus bad
By clovell on 5/12/2009 2:57:47 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair, I think more people are killed in the name of religion than any of those other things you cited.

RE: @!$@ good, Jesus bad
By MozeeToby on 5/12/2009 4:23:30 PM , Rating: 4
Take a group of people and divide them up based on their favorite color, then pit the teams against each other in some contest. Within a few hours you'll hear people saying how all the other teams cheat and only their team plays fair. Its just human psychology. If people didn't fight over religion, they'd fight over something else.

Besides, I would bet that more people are fed and clothed in the name of religion than any other single issue. I'm not saying anything about religious versus non-religious morals. I'm only saying that, although many people don't need religion to be interested in helping others, many people do need the extra encouragement. Even among those who would help others without religion, churches are an obvious choice when it comes to organizing and recruiting for charities.

RE: @!$@ good, Jesus bad
By bobdelt on 5/13/2009 3:51:55 PM , Rating: 3
What does that even mean? The "name of religion".

When's the last time a church organized a killing?

Even the radical islamists, and suicide bombers, are not killing for their religion, they use that as propaganda.

I think in the "name of their nation" might make a little more sense...well, maybe a little more.

RE: @!$@ good, Jesus bad
By robertisaar on 5/18/2009 1:40:17 PM , Rating: 2
i don't know if it was the last time, but the crusades and the spanish inquisition come to mind...

RE: @!$@ good, Jesus bad
By sprockkets on 5/19/2009 9:40:31 PM , Rating: 3
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

RE: @!$@ good, Jesus bad
By AMcA on 5/21/2009 12:42:17 PM , Rating: 2
This is by definition NOT censorship.

Censorship is what happens when the force of government is put behind silencing speech. Apple is, by definition, not able to censor.

When people scream "censorship" over private actions, they totally debase the danger of censorship. So stop, alarmists.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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